I believe that time is the most essential. I have so much respect to people who give their time to do volunteer work more than the high profile names who donate a portion of their money. I always tell myself that I would dedicate a time (maybe a few hours in a week) to giving back to the community. But it was not as easy as I thought it would be. I get busy, I get lazy at times, and I get distracted over things that I thought are beautiful and interesting. I found volunteer work at the bottom of my to-do list every time I would flip a page of my planner.
I recognized the problem here. I see the passion and interest in doing it, I know how to start and who to connect with, but it is the drive and a little push that were lacking in my commitment (maybe we are on the same situation). I have some friends who felt the same, and we planned to plan to visit and start doing more volunteer work, but the time never happened.
I was excited when Habitat for Humanity, lead by blogger friend Alex, invited me to be one of the Habitat for Humanity's Online Champion. Seems like the push that I need would come from this organization who have already helped thousands of lives and families. Habitat for Humanity didn't realize they are helping a volunteer's life too. They are helping me. Who doesn't want to be a champion?
Habitat for Humanity understands the power of social media. The organization believes there is more than the selfies and throwbacks in this digital age. The biggest proof is how during the typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in November, information and call for help were rapidly shared by celebrities, bloggers and influencers. Millions of donations came in which helped in providing immediate assistance to the victims of the typhoon. The power of social media to help social change did not end there.
Last week, Habitat for Humanity held its first Social Media Circle, a gathering of bloggers and social media enthusiasts with a heart for social change. It was held in Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf (much love to this brand!).
A very intimate event hosted by Kuya Tonipet! He is an advocate and supporter of Habitat for Humanity, and he shared how he experienced how grateful most of the families who were given a shelter after the typhoon. He said that most families are happy that they are now living in a home with roof, even if they don't have beds and couches.
It makes you think how devastating the situation for most families is. A decent home is one of the basic needs - the same with clothes and food. But for most Filipinos, a house seems like a luxury. Most of us work hard to make the first investment, a housing. I thought, if I do not have the money to donate and share with other Filipinos, maybe I can help in building a home for them. Now that sounds easier especially that Habitat for Humanity got more exciting news and programs for the supporters! I am not sure if I can share it now.. but please, please, stay connected :)
Habitat Philippines CEO & Managing Director Charlie Ayco
Habitat Philippines Communications Director Gina Virtusio
What I can share now right now, Habitat for Humanity hopes to inspire social media influencers to continue supporting Habitat's work in their own way and through their own network of influence. During the event, Habitat for Humanity also showed us the preview of the pictures that would the Online Champion may utilize in their social medium.
Can you name my blogger friends featured? :)
Habitat for Humanity also recognized the first batch of bloggers who showed support to the advocacy. Wentot here looking like John Lloyd :)
I am glad that Habitat for Humanity chose to work with me for this project. I have signed, and submitted my pledge :)
I know you also want to be part of it and volunteer, first step is to check out the volunteer opportunities here: www.habitat.org.ph.
If you wish to help raise fund, you can check out www.give2habitat.org/philippines.
Image credit: Juan Manila
Thank you once again Habitat for Humanity! I cannot wait to start building the first home! :)
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