I build meaningful holidaysBy Claire Marie Algarme
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Bazaars, exchange gifts, Christmas parties, and hanging of holiday decors denote that the Christmas rush is up and about. Despite the busy-ness of the season, there are many individuals and groups who share their blessings by organizing outreach activities to celebrate Christmas with those who are in need.
Habitat for Humanity (HFH) Philippines works with corporations, schools, church groups, civic organizations, or groups of individuals to organize their Christmas parties in Habitat communities. This December, companies take some time out from their busy work schedule not just to build houses but also to distribute Christmas gifts and do storytelling to children of Habitat homepartner families.
“This Christmas season, people can take part on a community-led change by engaging our communities through various activities that support them. Such endeavors make this time of the year more meaningful to both our families and to our volunteers,” shared Charlie Ayco, HFH Philippines incoming CEO.
In fact, Habitat Ambassador and actor-model Derek Ramsay is celebrating his birthday this holiday season in a different way. He’s gathering about 150 of his friends and fans for a special build in Navotas, a joint housing project of the local government and HFH Philippines, which is a relocation site for families whose homes were devastated by recent calamities. Many individuals have already responded to his Twitter post to join him on his birthday build.
HFH Philippines is building more than houses. This year, it launched its “I Build” campaign, a four-year initiative to celebrate its coming 25 years of helping families in need of decent homes in sustainable communities. Habitat, in its continued service to Filipino families as a pioneer non-profit in socialized housing, seeks to serve as a unifying catalyst to create a community building and development model by providing innovative and sustainable housing solutions to achieve milestones in uplifting the Filipino family.
One of its flagship programs is disaster response and risk mitigation, called Habitat Re-BUILD. It’s a full rebuilding cycle from relief, to renovation, to transitional shelters, to relocation and building of permanent homes, to the development of safe, healthy and child-friendly communities.
The Habitat Youth Council, led by Isabel Martel Francisco, Kevin Yang, Simon Tantoco and Pedro T. Roxas, will be filling their holiday schedule with shelter repair kit distribution to communities where homes were partially damaged by typhoons and floods. Not only that, they will also be busy raising funds to support Habitat’s mission.
Like them, there are plenty of ways to make your holiday season extra meaningful and fulfilling—build homes with families in need, develop love for reading among children, and bring hope to typhoon victims living in evacuation centers. How about you, what will you build this Christmas?
To volunteer with Habitat for Humanity Philippines, call (02)846-2177 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. You may know more about the organization at www.habitat.org.ph and get regular updates at www.facebook.com/habitatphilippines.