Submitted by Gloria T. Caoile
Co-Chair, FtH Gift Giving Program
The FtH Gift Giving Program is one of six programs designed to uplift the spirit and well-being of the poorest of the poor in the Philippines. Organized in l993 with the single purpose of distributing gift packages, FtH has broadened its objectives and programs to include supplementary feeding, educational assistance, emergency and calamity relief, community and economic development programs.
From January 18 to February 20, 2010, FtH volunteers traveled throughout Luzon to distribute gift packages consisting of the following items: rice, noodles, canned goods, sugar, coffee, powder milk, toiletries, laundry soap, school supplies and snack packs for children.
Preparations for 20l0 Gift Giving Implementation
Requests were made to FtH for the 2010 implementation as early as July, 2009. The Gift Giving committee evaluated all the requests, sent verification inquiries to the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO), and by November 2009 requests were approved and budgeted.
We set out for our trip to Manila on January 16th arriving early morning of January 18th. Wasting no time, I headed to the CFO office to go over implementation schedules only to find out that the CFO, due to personnel change and budgetary constraints, could not partner with FtH in our gift giving program.
Talk about fast reactions — we had to figure out the following:
– Gift giving implementation schedule – confirmed and tentative (and to schedule site visits to make sure sites are qualified);
– Where to shop for items for gift bags (packaging/delivery);
– How to use contact persons for each site;
– Make sure beneficiaries at each site met FtH eligibility standards;
– Transportation to each site.
We found answers to our logistical and distribution problems at PureGold (discount food outlet) which agreed to individually pack items we purchased (250 packs for each site). We also arranged delivery to each site.
I then got in touch with our site contacts to make sure they identified eligible beneficiaries and to make sure the beneficiaries had tickets so they could claim their packages on implementation day.
Having solved the major hurdles – purchasing/delivery and transportation – we were set for implementation. We proceeded to inform all FtH volunteers in Manila to sign up for sites they wanted to join. This is always one of the best parts – everyone wants to join and be part of the program.
FtH 2010 Implementation Team
Lottie and Willie Buhain; Ben and Gloria Caoile, Celia P. Donahue, Estela and Mario Sanidad, Zeny and Ralph Sistoza, Vicky and Bing Gavino, Butch and Verna Samson, Carl Abella, Jeanette Calahong, Baby Herrera, Joe Clavesillas, Roger Saplan, Manny and Fely Dumo.
We were joined by local volunteers: Joan Mallen, Louie Toehl; Tessie Villacorta; Marichu (friend of Roger); Dondee Cruz;
We also had photographers: Amanda Bantug and four of her friends who went to a couple of sites.
We are also extremely grateful to our site contacts who worked on identifying beneficiaries, arranged the distribution, and worked with us throughout the day.
Our primary mission for this implementation was to make sure we went to areas affected by the recent calamity – Typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng.
2010 Implementation Sites
January 23 – Payatas, Quezon City – 250 Families
January 25 – Taytay, Rizal – 400 Families
January 28 – Marikina, Rizal – 250 Families
January 30 – Sun Vallye, Paranaque – 250 Families
February 5 – Umingan, Pangasinan – 250 Families
February 5 – Puzorrubio, Pangasinan – 250 Families
February 6 – Arringgay, La Union – 250 Families
February 7 –Bauang, La Union – 250 Families
February 7 – Agoo, La Union – 100 Families
February 9 – Las Pinas – 250 Families
February 11 – Anabu 1 and Imus, Cavite – 250 Families
February 13 – Tambo, Paranaque – 250 Families
February 17 – Marikina, Rizal (area Dona Petra) – 250 Families
February 18 – Cabuyao, Laguna – 250 Families
February 19 – Don Jose Heights (Payatas) – 200 Families
All implementation days started with meeting early in the morning at a designated place. All volunteers for the day proceeded to implementation site. Upon arrival, FtH Banners were hang and a short program followed (intro of FtH; well wishes for all, and thank you to local supporters and volunteers). In most areas there were also distribution of snacks for children.