Keeping the legacy in reaching out to partner communities, the Student Body led by the Student Council officers thrivingly shared and spread love through the annual Shoe Box Project to the school children in an upland barangay in Calidngan, Carcar City, Cebu last November 30, 2017.
Dubbed as “Pasko sa Kabukiran” Season 2, the MHAM team was composed of medical doctors, residents, administrative staff, SC officers and non-teaching employees who incessantly brought joy and love to residents in Barangay Calidngan. The Shoe Box Project was the highlight in the afternoon activities.
Nine hundred sixty-three school children gathered at the Calidngan Covered Court from Pit-os, Lunas, Sacsac and Calidngan Elementary Schools brought home their early Christmas presents aside from the feeding program.
Initiated by the MHAM Student Body through the Student Council, the Shoe Box Project was an APMC-SN Service Project of the Year Award in 2016.
The Shoe Box Project as an exemplary mission was started in December 2014 after MHAM alumnus, Dr. Jay Conrad Granados Labay proposed it with a vision to supply, help and assist the underprivileged children and has been carried out by the succeeding SC officers since then. Today, the SC continued to assist the children in the partner communities with school supplies and hygiene kits to reinforce their grooming, turning it into an abiding legacy.
According to the Executive Vice-President of the Student Council, Amer Hussein Domado, the Pasko sa Kabukiran event was an opportunity for him to be part of a significant endeavor especially in the season of gift-giving and sharing to the less fortunate in the society.
“As an SC officer for three years already, the Pasko sa Kabukiran means a lot to me and a privilege to be part of something meaningful especially this season of giving. It is also the way of the MHAM community to give back to the people, not just by sharing thousands of gifts but by giving joy to the children in the partner community. Moreover, our doctors were also involved in giving medical care to the community by giving free check ups, medicines and surgeries”, said this 25-year old junior student-leader.
Domado also added that the Shoe Box Project is an expression of charity to children with gift cards and personal message from the MHAM students to make them feel that they are being loved and cared.
A Muslim by faith and for life, this aspiring medical doctor also expressed that the spirit of Christmas should be felt and shared by everyone regardless of religious views and beliefs. A graduate of Bachelor of Science in Zoology, this student leader and achiever comes from a family of medical doctors and he is looking forward to be part of the faculty-doctors in the future as he loves teaching.
“Personally, I don’t celebrate Christmas because I am a Muslim but that doesn’t mean I don’t believe in the spirit of Christmas. For me, it’s the season of giving and forgiving. Giving in such a way that we exchange and give gifts to make other people happy, to make them feel they are special to us and we love them. Forgiving in such a way that in this season, we are called to forgive all the people who have wronged us. Christmas is the season of love, hence, we spread only but love”, he concluded.
On a separate gift-giving event held at the MHAM Lobby last December 9, 2017, a total of one hundred fifty children received each gift with amusing surprises and a happy meal intended for them.
“Excited kaayo ko makabalo unsay sulod aning box. Thank you sa naghatag. (I am very excited to know what is inside this box. Thank you to the giver)”, said a 9-year old Sophia Belle Hera, a fourth grader of Cebu City Central Elementary School who was one of the grateful recipients of the extended gift-giving.
Assisted by some Social Workers in the neighboring community, the recipients enjoyed the pre-Christmas celebration with the presence of a well-loved mascot that completed their delight.
Current SC Governor Louie Angelo Lopez said that the Shoe Box Project held at the Redemptorist campus was an extension activity from the upland partner community so that the children within the neighboring area can also benefit with the said endeavor.
“It is always good to end the year with something significant in the season of love and giving through the Shoe Box Project and we hope that the kids are all happy. As students we all are pre-occupied from exams to various activities but at the end of the day there is no picture so beautiful than to see the smiling and bright-eyed children who can bring us positive energy into our engaging schedules”, said Lopez in an interview.
Facilitated by Saifullah Gandamra and Clarinda Surpia, the Shoe Box Project Extension Activity marked as a signifying year-end activity from the Student Council with the message of love and hope associated on it during Christmas season. (Ana Liza Abao)