My apologies for not writing much lately. Life got out of hand. More so with work. But speaking of work, we had a press launch this morning for our rice campaign. I was nervous with the idea that the press might not show up today. So were the others in the team, I think. And I really imagined the worst when I only picked up 4 bloggers from our meeting place at the Intercontinental Hotel. Good thing though, when we got back to the office, there were some tv crews already setting up. Kudos to the communications officer, Maren, and Geri from the PR Agency, Geiser Maclang, who made it all happen. Another amazing thing of note is that Tim Yap stayed even after the event ended and chatted with us despite his busy schedule. His assistant even told us that Tim was the one who woke her up this morning instead of the other way around. Guess he was excited too.
So here comes the shameless plug. I’m spearheading the fundraising efforts (no easy task but my team mates are really the best) and our target is 600 sacks in donations and pledges. That’s a year’s supply for Virlanie and it goes to the 13 homes, the Mobile Unit in Divisoria, and the Open Day Center in Quiapo. It takes 50 sacks of rice every month for children in our care to have balanced meals at least 3 times a day. :)
Virlanie Invites Everyone to Rice Up!
Learning is more fun on a full stomach. A way to ensure that children are learning despite their economic and social circumstance is to mitigate their hunger. Every afternoon, in front of the Binondo Church, the Mobile Unit of Virlanie Foundation, teaches young children living on the streets through a mobile classroom with the hopes of reintegrating them into normal school. After every class, however, the Mobile Unit unpacks its food receptacles, distributing the children’s possibly first balanced meal of the day composed of vegetables and meat, occasionally with a glass of milk, but always with rice. This is the main reason why Virlanie Foundation has embarked on a rice campaign, calling friends and supporters to Rice Up for Street Children!
With the target of garnering pledges and donations for 50 sacks of rice each month in the coming year, Virlanie will be able to feed children living in its 13 homes and children who are still living on the streets through Virlanie’s outreach programs like the Mobile Unit. A donation of one sack of rice helps serve three meals to 100 children.
Dominique Lemay, President & Founder of Virlanie Foundation notes, “Virlanie’s main thrust and goal since its beginning is to help disadvantaged children living on the streets. Children are the most vulnerable in the face of poverty because they are born into this unfortunate circumstance. It is imperative to extend help to these children since they are at risk: this is also the important time that their brains and bodies are developing.”
Rice contains over 15 vitamins and minerals, and unlike other high carbohydrate foods, rice contains high quality proteins. Rice also contains all eight of the essential amino acids, which helps in building and maintaining muscle tissue, antibodies and hormones. Above all, rice is a crucial component to Filipino food culture, just as a family home atmosphere is important to a happy child.
How to Rice Up!
Dominique Lemay recognizes that Virlanie’s current challenge now is getting Filipino or local donors to support and be more involved with the Foundation’s efforts. He mentions, “a few foreign donors have already recognized what we do and how good we are at it, and now we hope that Filipinos can be more proactive in caring for their own.”
Virlanie Foundation enjoins friends to donate a sack of rice, or to pledge to donate rice monthly. Employees may choose to pledge their monthly rice subsidies to Virlanie as well. Donors can fill up a Rice Up! pledge form off www.virlanie.org and email it to email@example.com.
Virlanie Foundation provides homes for children who have been abandoned, abused, and neglected. For the past 19 years, Virlanie Foundation has helped 13,500 street children through its homes and its outreach programs. For more information on how to Rice Up!, please call Tess Garcia at 8953460.