Well Thanksgiving is over. Time for us to think now of the Christmas shopping. We are so lucky that we can buy even just a few presents for our kids and give some to our friends and family. Living here now for 13+ years, I’ve seen people – too many people here struggling to buy food for their Noche Buena for their family. It’s really sad but that’s the reality here. Noche Buena – A Filipino tradition for midnight dinner for the whole family on Christmas Eve.
I think you probably read here how we started the first Martin family tradition of giving away. We were just sitting on our office in our house one Christmas eve many years ago. Bob said to me that “Hon, I don’t feel the Christmas spirit here because I think I don’t feel the cold weather“. We kind of just smile to each other. Then after awhile he told me what if we will buy something like burgers from McDonalds and cookies and juices and candies from the grocery stores for the homeless people here in the city. So I called up McDonalds if they can provide me with 200 burgers and I will be picking it up in a few hours. I told them of my purpose for the burgers. They were so happy and so helpful that they said yes they will get it ready for me. They told me too that they will get some of the burgers from there other branches of McDonald here in the city. They also provided me with plastic bags so that I can put some of the other goodies in it. So we headed out to town and found homeless people in the city.
Then later we the headed towards Diversion Road and found so many beggars on the road. My goodness our burgers were gone immediately. But it was really fun giving away to them, since they’re not expecting it. We did it for a few years from our very own money. Of course it’s just limited since the funds were only ours and not so big. Until later when LiP was born. Bob started asking here from you guys our readers if you guys can pitch-in. And you guys did without questions. Now we got the LiP DRIVE. So really thankful that you guys did. We can now give out a lot and so many less fortunate people can put a smile on their faces.
I’ve encountered too many events during our giving away. A few of them really remains in my heart and it really humbles me. And it also taught more lessons to my kids. One of the events that stuck in my head was this event: A few years ago when we were giving out near BUDA (the Davao/Bukidnon border). On the way, we stop by at the road side because we saw an older lady, with her I think her daughter or a grand daughter. It’s really hard to say, she might just be looking older because of harder life. She’s getting ready to ride her horse, we stopped and and said hi to her and the little girl. We greeted her Merry Christmas and started handing her some food for the Noche Buena and some goodies for the little girl. She was shocked and didn’t know what to think, she just started crying and she said that “you guys are the angels sent from above” because she said she was praying for miracle because she didn’t know if they will have food for that night. You know what, tears were rolling my eyes and I know Bob too upon hearing her say that. Our kids saw it and I could see their sadness for the lady’s struggles but happy that at least they had food for the holidays. To be honest, It even brought tears to my eyes until now when remembering that day. Really we hear too many stories similar to that lady when we went out giving. Our kids really enjoyed doing it. They like to go to a little remote area and give there because those people never expect somebody like us to go there and just give. It’s good to give to people you don’t know and they are not expecting to get anything from anybody that day. The smiles and the sparkles of their eyes are priceless.
It’s been a good thing that we did give each year here. Our kids really know that too many poor people live here. I could tell by just watching them that they really care also for the poor people here. Our kids always look forward on every giveaway. They help out packing the stuff. It’s really a team effort by all of us. If you can help again this year, please send an email to: [email protected] and you will get full instructions on how to donate. Thanks to all of you that contribute.
We give 100% of all your donations to the less fortunate people here. I know that all of us struggles with the hard economy right now, but if you have some extra money, that amount can really feed to one of the poor family here in the Philippines. We are so grateful for your sacrifices too. More people will contribute, more people will have food for their Noche Buena. We can put a smile to the faces of the people here, the children especially.
From the bottom of my heart “THANK YOU SO MUCH” for helping our cause. To our LIP Family, I’m forever thankful to God for you guys.
A Merry Christmas to you all!!!