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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

At the East Avenue Medical Center-OPD with Ms Kim and Mr Francis

In most places we get to visit, the commotion and questions begin with our pride- the Chummy Chum van. With its eye-catching paint, decorations and music, we know it is definitely something special, a breath of fresh air in a chaotic sea of Manila road traffic. Then when we stop and take out the pop corn machine, the cotton candy maker, and the balloons and the boxes of gifts more glances move to our direction and the most amusing question follows: “Whose birthday is it?” =D
In Chummy Chum, all we want is for each child is to feel like it’s their birthday. On June 28, 2011, that was exactly what we had in mind- to make it an afternoon of celebration with the kids. We went to the EAMC-OPD and with the help of our dearest friends Ms Kim and Mr Francis, we treated the kids to yet another joy -and -surprise- filled morning, brimming with laughter, fun, and gifts. After preparing the cotton candies and pop corn, Ms Kim and Mr Francis gave out the gifts they provided for the kids themselves, and then it was our turn to give out our own- baby dresses, some pieces of clothing like skirts, coloring books, etc. The truth is we want to turn every ordinary day like it’s someone’s birthday for these kids. Because seeing the smiles of these kids is just priceless. =)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Coz We Care Feeding Program in NHA Muntinlupa

After joining the Chinese Chamber of Commerce in their medical mission in Baclaran, we then went to Muntinlupa to take part in the feeding program of Coz We Care group. There, hundreds of disadvantaged kids patiently waited while we prepared the snacks that we later treated them to. It was amusing to see the excitement in the expectant faces of the children, some of them telling us that it was the first time they saw how cotton candies and pop corn were made. With Chummy Chum coming out and dancing for them, they got more excited and more delighted, the smiles couldn’t be wiped off their faces, and their laughter continued ringing the whole afternoon. Surely some got surprised that even during these hard times, there were still many who choose to give and share. As long as there are children needing smiles and affection, we will always be busy. =)
Seen in photos are Chummy Chum, the kids in the community, and Ms.Vanessa and Ms Tintin. Thanks to our dear volunteers.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Chummy Chum with The Chinese Chamber of Commerce Medical Mission 2011

On June 26, a Sunday, through the invitation of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce, Chummy Chum and team was on the road again to help them with their Medical Mission 2011. 300 hundred kid- beneficiaries were there to receive medical attention from the doctors of the Ospital ng Maynila and to get the gifts we prepared.

People had fallen in line and the registration list not fully filled-in, but when they heard about the freebies we would give out, people started to pour in, and made the beeline for the registration. The doctors provided the free medical service, while we treated the kids to a fun-filled morning with snacks like cotton candies and pop corn, and gifts like coloring books and baby dresses. They were more than happy to meet our dear Chummy Chum too, as he danced to some modern tunes.
Thanks to Ms Vanessa and Ms Tintin of Calamba for helping us today. =)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Celebrating with Ms. Elyn at the V. Luna Hospital Cancer Ward

On June 25, Saturday, Chummy Chum headed to V. Luna Hospital, to celebrate and mark a great day. Ms Jackie, a dear friend of Chummy Chum’s invited us to take part in Ms Elyn’s celebration and thanks-giving for surviving and being cancer-free for a year now. She was diagnosed with stage-4 cancer, but through the grace of God, prayers, and her faith, she fought and survived the grueling treatments and dialyses.

She wanted to share her blessings and her testimony and perhaps her strength and wisdom too, with those who are now battling the degenerative disease. They prepared many surprises and activities for the kids to enjoy, and to top off the celebrations, Chummy Chum entertained the kids with a dance, and added more gifts to the ones given by Ms Jackie and Ms Elyn. We were all moved by the grateful smiles the kids bestowed on us, and doubly moved to know they just had dialysis treatment the day before and now they generously showered us with smiles and thanks.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Visit to PGH - Ward 11

Visiting the pediatrics wards of hospitals is always on top of Chummy Chum’s list. PGH is no stranger to our team, and on June 17, 2011, we paid the kids there a visit. We were with Blessee Aquino, our volunteer blogger and her mom that day to help us treat the sick kids in the ward to a delightful afternoon, and to check too if the equipment under the CSMEP in the pediatrics department were functioning well. It was another well-spent day, we know we made the children smile despite the sicknesses they were battling with. We also got lucky, and had the pleasure of greeting and celebrating with some of the children patients there who had birthdays that day. In our book, there is really nothing more rewarding than seeing people, strangers and friends alike, and more so, kids, turn a frown into a smile, just by saying or doing something simple. =)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Lifestream Child Survival Program Recognition Day

On June 15, 2011, Chummy Chum was invited by Lifestream Ministry to take part in the celebrations of an important event. It was the recognition day of the participants of the Child Survival Program, which aim is to aide the underprivileged mothers of the Project 4, Quezon City community. The program was just started last year, and they encouraged pregnant women to register in it to help them with their spiritual, socio-emotional, cognitive and physical well-being as they bear and go through their pregnancy, and up until their babies are three years old. On the said day, Lifestream recognized the efforts of the participants with a program, and Chummy Chum was honored to be invited to give the attendees a morning of fun and entertainment.
In photos: Chummy Chum dancing with the Lifestream kid beneficiaries and their siblings.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Chummy Chum at the House of Sarang (with refreshments provided by our dear friend Ms. Ruth of New Zealand)

In the morning of June 11, 2011, a Saturday, Chummy Chum and team jump-started the day by preparing the refreshments and snacks we were taking to the House of Sarang in Taguig. House of Sarang is dedicated to providing shelter to kids neglected and abandoned by their parents. The institution has been of great help, not just in taking in these kids, but in guiding the children, primarily boys, as they go through such a traumatizing event in their lives. When we got there we found out that there were only 25 of them, and since the refreshments were prepared with a crowd in mind, we decided to invite the less fortunate kids who were neighbors with the kids in the House of Sarang. It was nice to see that the kids easily broke the ice, and mingled among themselves like they had been friends for a long time. We didn’t want the fun to stop at the gift giving of course, so our beloved Chummy Chum led the dancing, and this stepped up the festive mood to the delight of the children. It was another rewarding day for us, and we left the kids, said our goodbyes and taking with us their smiles and laughter.
In photos: Chummy Chum with the House of Sarang kids and their neighbors

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Rizal Medical Center Visited

On June 8, 2011, a Wednesday morning, Chummy Chum visited Rizal Medical Center in Pasig to check the incubator that we donated to the pediatrics department under the Child Survival Maintenance Program (CSMEP). Under the said program we commit to do the up-keep and maintenance of the equipment, so that the medical center don’t have to worry about it. While our technician saw the equipment, our friends Ms. Bunny and Ms. Anna Camille helped us in making a delightful morning for the kid patients in the pediatrics ward. We only had contact with the social worker there so no one knew about us, and everyone asked if there was a birthday party. Most wondered why we gave away gifts and snacks, some even asked whether we just gave away samples and if they could find our store in a mall. It was really surprising that people still get amazed when something is given to them without any price. Of course we just explained to them what our mission is, and we could tell that that even made their day better. Truly nothing beats the smiles and the thank yous that come with sharing what we have with other people. The cliché “It’s better to give than to receive” may be so overused, but in our team, it never gets old. =)
Seen in photos: Chummy Chum with patients and doctors.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Philippine Children’s Medical Center Nephro Month Celebration

Every year, the Philippine Children’s Medical Center celebrates Nephro Month (Nephrology Month) to raise awareness about kidney care and kidney failure prevention. Kidney is a vital organ which care a lot of people take for granted, and when we forget to take care of our kidneys it results in serious complications and worst, death. It’s painful to see adult patients suffering from kidney failure, so imagine how agonizing it is to see children, little angels who are in excruciating pain, and suffering from kidney diseases.

On June 6, 2011, the PCMC invited us to help them enliven the program they had for that month’s celebrations. We prepared gifts and refreshments for the children patients there, and together with the doctors, we tried our best to somehow ease the pain the kids felt. We wanted them and their families to feel that people care about them, and that they are not alone in their battle with illness. Just like what Nikolai Lenin said “The most important thing in illness is never to lose heart.” We know not what the future of these kids will be, we know that some of them will fight a long battle, or maybe some of their young lives will be cut short, but the most important thing we can do for them is to help them not to lose heart. Children are such angels, and sometimes all it takes is a smile, a hug, or a simple gift, to make them hold on and not lose hope.
Thanks to Mr. Tito and Ms Ahnne for being such tireless friends and volunteers. =)
Seen in photos: Chummy Chum with the kids and doctors.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Closing of CHILDHOPE Asia Sports Fest 2011

The busy streets of Metro Manila are silent witnesses to both the best and the worst of people- the good, the bad, the ugly. These streets teem with life, with people whose hearts and spirits bear scars of battles won and battles lost from surviving the hard life. And these same streets too, if they could only talk, would tell you the stories of the children that call these mute observers their home. We call these kids "street children", but they are no less important than the children who dwell in an abode. They need our help, and they only become invisible to our eyes if we don’t take the time to see them, and see what we can do to create some hope for them, too. On June 5, 2011, Sunday morning, everyone in the Chummy Chum team was excited to come with Childhope Asia’s invitation for the closing ceremony of their annual sports fest. This sports fest is a big event for the kids- they always look forward to seeing some famous basketball players who generously grace the occasion to boost the morale of the children. The sport events are geared towards building the confidence of the children, and instill in them the values that playing sports teaches. Some of the children, some in their teenage years we meet in these events, whenever we get the chance to talk with them, tell us of the terrible conditions on the streets, the family woes that they suffer from, and how they misguidedly cope by sniffing toluene, found in some adhesives (like “Rugby”). We know that participating in sports events like this are not just a respite for them, from the harsh situations they are in, but also a good way to show them hope. That’s why with Childhope and the other institutions who tirelessly help these kids see a vestige of hope from their plight, Chummy Chum will continue bringing joy and cheer. Because hope springs eternal when there is love, and faith, and charity. =)
Thank you to Ms. Gelli and Justine for giving us a hand today.

Marilao Landfill: Gift giving by Mr. Angelo Tan with JCI

It was June 5th, and we just said goodbye to the people of Childhope Asia and the kids who participated in the sports festival, but we wouldn’t call it a day just yet. In the afternoon, we then headed to Marilao, Bulacan with the invitation of Ms Lizzette of JCI to share some gifts and bring some cheer this time around to the kids of the community there. When we arrived and started readying for the day’s activities, our donors got surprised to see 500 kids made the bee-line for the gifts, so they made sure that they distribute the school supplies to the kids on their list first. The JCI team led the games for the children, and we started cooking the pop corn and cotton candies, and some kids got stuck watching us in amazement because it was the first time they saw how pop corn and cotton candies are cooked. It was a wet and muddy afternoon, but the kids were all smiles as they watched us prepare their snacks. This provided the icebreaker, lifting the moods of the kids, and this was appreciated by the group of Mr. Angelo Tan who wanted the kids to have a wonderful time with us. The fun continued all afternoon, and though it was damp and dreary outside, we didn’t mind—for the laughter and the smiles of these kids were like a sunny day warming our hearts and inspiring our souls.

Seen in photos: Chummy Chum with the kids.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Attorney Fantone’s Birthday Celebration at Blessedville School for Special Children

“The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.” ~ Mitch Albom

This could never have been said better, for success and accomplishments are good, but without meaning, without a mission in life that is both nourishing to the soul and to the soul of another, they are all but in vain. Here in Chummy Chum we are certainly lucky to find people who share our philosophy, keeping not their gifts and blessings to themselves and only to those they know, but to those who need them the most. One of these people we are very blessed to know is Attorney Ronald Fantone, who chose to celebrate his birthday on June 4, 2011 with us. He particularly requested to commemorate his special day somewhere we don’t frequently visit, so we took him to Blessedville in Alfonso, Cavite. When we arrived we were greeted with excited applause and a very warm welcome by the children. They were thrilled to see who generously gave them the school supplies, and Attorney Fantone and his family and friends were equally eager to meet the kids too. The gifts were many, the snacks plenty, the dancing headed by Chummy Chum a pure delight and the smiles and laughs were overflowing and lasted all afternoon. And just when Blessedville thought it could not get any better than that, Attorney Fantone and his entourage did not stop there, but finally bestowed to them the nebulizer for the special kids that the community requested. Thank yous couldn’t be exchanged enough between the people of Blessedville and the Fantones, and we will always be grateful to note that it is worth being a witness to such acts of kindness. It is a scene worth remembering indeed, and we hope more people like Attorney Fantone will also take the mission of giving a hand, giving hope to those who need to be affirmed that people will always care... and that many do, and will always. Thank you again Attorney Fantone. =)
Thanks too to Ms Mary Ann Bagsik and team for volunteering today
Seen in photos: Chummy Chum with the Blessedville kids; Attorney Ronald Fantone and his loved ones (his girlfriend and his mother) the community with the Taal volcano backdrop

Thursday, June 2, 2011

At the Pediatrics Ward of Philippine General Hospital- Out-Patient Department

"What this world needs is a new kind of army - the army of the kind." ~Cleveland Amory

"If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion." ~Dalai Lama

We have gone to PGH many times before, and in every visit, it’s almost the same scenario: young patients waiting for their turn to see the doctor; a mother, a father, a kin beset with worry because his kid is sick, hoping that the minutes, the hours could go faster so they could finally take their turn with the physician. As early as the ungodly hour of three in the morning, they came to the hospital to get the blue card- a symbol of access to the attentions of a doctor, and a ticket to accessible medical services which are otherwise impossible for a family that can barely take three meals a day.
Without charity and generosity hope may never spring, and we feel that with our humble acts, like sharing what we have with the underprivileged patients, we get the message across- that it will never be irrelevant to make a difference. On June 1st the children’s smiles as they watched us ready their snacks and presents were all it took to make our day. Some were impatient and worried while bearing the heat and the long line, but when Chummy Chum came out to dance and we handed out the snacks, it tugged at our hearts to realize it only takes so little to put a smile to a person’s face.
Thanks to Ms Bunny, Ms Gellie and Justin for volunteering today.
Seen in photos: Chummy Chum dancing with the kids in the OPD

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