The Distribution: Part 5

Mamon-Sponge-CakesWhat is it like to live as a Filipino orphan, in a very rich part of Mandaluyong City, Philippines? When the majority of the people is middle-class, wearing expensive clothing and driving in high-class vehicles, these orphans have very little to no luxurious items. Instead, they worry whether their next meal of a Mamon cake (seen above) will be enough to satisfy their hungry stomachs. Furthermore, these orphans wear the same shirts and pants every day. Socks are a major issue for them – too expensive to purchase, and thus, a hassle to wear. As a result, these Filipino orphans are often seen just wearing rugged and torn-up sandals. You might ask yourself, “What about shoes”? Shoes, just like socks or an adequate meal, are expensive items and only affordable by the middle-class.

With that in ours minds, we knew that we wanted to help these orphans as much as possible! We arrived at the DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development) Youth Village in Mandaluyong City, Philippines, to distribute  our health-care kits and snack items.

Irene @8 202

We were not expecting to see so many orphans and economically disadvantaged children at the village. But, as the next photos illustrate, there were much more than we thought. The number of orphans at the Youth Village seen in both pictures totaled ~200 children, ranging from 5 to 15 years old.Irene @8 199

All were clad in the same shirts, pants/shorts, and sandals. From afar, all you could hear was a jumbling mix of English and Tagalog conversations. It sounded like a discordant symphony. From walking past each aisle, however, their conversations were jubilant – no arguments or fights. Seeing so many orphans gathered in one spot was disheartening. The fact that we would, in the next hour, help them out by distributing some Filipino food and our healthcarekits, elevated my spirits. Irene @8 220The looks on their faces were filled with excitement, amusement and wonder.  While some were munching on a snack, others were drinking juice, awaiting for further instruction.

Here we are, setting up our station and removing all our items from our backpacks.

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We pause for a moment and take a picture to celebrate today’s event, as we make a stride toward improving the health and welfare of these Filipino orphans and homeless children.Irene @8 203

Irene @8 206From glancing at the crowd, we wonder if we have enough items for all the children. To be continued

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The Distribution: Part 4


Guess where the image above was taken? It’s a panoramic view of Mandaluyong City (courtesy of Mandaluyong City is one of the citimandaluyong cityes that makes up Metro Manila in the Philippines, and is known as the “Tiger City of the Philippines” and “Shopping Mall Capital of the Philippines”.

It gets its titles from its many hotels, shopping malls, and entertainment centers. In the Philippines, shopping malls are known as ‘SM Supermalls.’ In the Ortigas business district (within Mandaluyong City) of Metra Manila, there is the SM MegaMall. It consists of 2 buildings connected by a bridge. With a total floor area of 480,000 sq. meters, it has a maximum capacity of 4 million people. And so, SM MegaMall is the largest mall of the Philippines! SM-MEgamall-03

How does this all relate to helping the homeless out? In Mandaluyong  City (one of the most commercially active parts of the Philippines), there are many orphans, homeless children, and economically disadvantaged families who do not have the sufficient resources to take care of themselves. A major concern of iCare4Homeless is increasing the awareness of homeless communities, as well as promoting actions to increase the care and personal well-being of others.

Thus, for our next destination, we traveled to Mandaluyong City of the Philippines to distribute our healthcare kits to the homeless children and orphans in one of their Youth Villages. To be continued…

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The Corgi Way

Happy New Year 2013 Wallpaper-8What’s the Corgi Way? It’s not the newest trend in 2013, as the New Year has just begun… As a matter of fact, it’s my term for how we should act towards life – ie. the Corgi Way.

Corgi puppies are the cutest,  always bringing joy and happiness to our lives! Their energetic attitudes epitomize how we should act with life – taking every moment with a smile, literally running toward anything they see with their tongues out and heads held high, whether the face is familiar or strange. Every second they are breathing for air, showing their exhilaration and happiness for every minute of the day. If they accidentally run into a puddle, or are showered with rain due to bad weather, they just shake their “tailfeathers” off, and keep running forward.

How often do we do that in our lives? When we see a stranger, do we stop for a moment, smile, and say “Good morning!” or, “How are you doing, today?” If something burdensome is bothering us, do we view it in a pessimistic manner, or do we march forward, with our heads held high? If we are having a bad day, do we brush it off our shoulders and, like a Corgi puppy pushing their tongue out, conquer our fears and live life to its fullest?

Let’s start the New Year by being as successful as we can, while also acting the Corgi way.

To inspire you to be a success, I wanted to share this picture:Success indicator

Let’s apply this philosophy to our lives and carpe diem 2013 the right way!
*Success Indicator Image copyright Mary Ellen Tribby*

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The Distribution: Part 3

As a recap, each of our health kits contained the following items: shampoo, towel, soap, conditioner, socks, toothbrush, toothpaste, along with other goodies as shown below.IMG_0004

Over the course of six months, we worked arduously to assemble as many kits as we could. Support from the Henry Schein Cares Foundation, along with other organizations, such as Father Joe’s Village, Green Suites, Redmond Trading LC, and friends/family, have significantly helped us reach our goals!IMG_0019

After having assembled 1,000 kits, we smile with joy as we take pride in our major accomplishment before our big day on December 29, 2012! Seen below are some of the Event Coordinators and Founder of the iCARE4Homeless Campaign.IMG_0056

Just to reiterate, we are MAKING HEALTH HAPPEN!!IMG_0059

Two of the Event Coordinators stand prior to our mass distribution, awaiting the big ensemble of people!! *Faces are blurred for confidentiality and privacy issues*IMG_0074

To be continued…

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The Distribution: Part 2


*NOTE: For privacy and confidentiality purposes, all faces have been blurred*

In the Dining Hall, at 10:45 am, people were already feasting on their lunches.



Near the exit, were several bags of food that the homeless could take, including loaves of bread, potato chips, fish, meat, and an assortment of other goodies.


We situated ourselves near the exit, where a Christmas tree was decorated to remind everyone the spirit of joy and the celebration of a New Year!



At first, we were unsure of how to set-up, as we were given a tiny corridor to place all our boxes containing the healthcare kits. Although there was a table to make a stand for our items, there wasn’t enough room to physically stand and allow people to exit. So, we mustered our strength and placed all the boxes, onto each other, almost forming a mini-castle.



After 10 minutes of preparation and setting up, we finally had our first customer. Walking in a slow pace, he stopped when he saw our faces. We said, with a big smile on our faces, “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Sir!!” and handed to him our health-care kit. He smiled back at us and said “You guys are amazing! God Bless You all!!”


At 11:30am, the masses of people started accumulating as more and more people exit the dining hall. Here we are handing out each kit in a frantic rush, trying to make sure every person receives a kit.



Can you see the kit in their hands? (Hint: it’s the white bag)



Before we knew it, our boxes of kits started disappearing and we began scavenging for more kits as the hour passed by.


IMG_0091Missing from these pictures are the smiles that each homeless person gave us when we handed them the kits. Although some were grumpy, perhaps due to a bad morning or inability to adequately feed themselves the past couple of days, many were excited to see us! Their smiles were worth it!!

IMG_0088This line consisted of 10 people waiting to see what we were distributing.


And, by 1:30pm, here’s the aftermath of the distribution. We distributed a total of 850 kits!! (To be continued)IMG_0095

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The Distribution: Part 1

“I’m Helping Health Happen.” That’s right! Today was the day we finally distributed the health-care kits! After leaving the St Vincent de Paul Village, I felt a tremendous sense of joy, knowing that we were able to successfully help 850 homeless people in San Diego county. The looks on their faces was worth all the hard-work spent over the past couple of months since July – reaching out to various companies, drafting letters, obtaining support, receiving donations, and fundraising money all for this event.

1) We drove to St Vincent de Paul Village (San Diego County)  and arrived at ~10:20am, to set up and unload our boxes of our healthcare kits.IMG_0022Here is ONE box containing ~30 kits we assembled.

IMG_0100   IMG_0101

2) We walked to our final destination, excited and eager to start the day, at ~10:30am. We finished unloading our boxes at the dining hall where the homeless will be eating their lunch for the day.boxes to distribute

3) Ever see a line containing as many as 100 people? Sounds like a line you would typically see for the Midnight Premiere of Harry Potter, The Hobbit, Star Wars, or Batman: The Dark Knight Rises.

Curious, I step outside to gaze in awe at the line waiting for their turn to eat at the St Vincent de Paul Village’s Dining Hall. At first glance, it looked like a gathering of people united for one reason… as if they were here for a celebration or a big event. On closer examination, however, it looked like a maze of people weaving in and around our particular building.

IMG_0083IMG_0084 The line started at the front, and wound around the back, as if in a maze. Each person was carrying bags and bags of items. Some were in wheelchairs, carrying nothing but backpacks. IMG_0094

Because it’s the Winter Season, many were wearing hoods, hats, coats, and vests, in the hopes to keep themselves warm.IMG_0081 Line 01

What was even more surprising was seeing, on occasion, a family or two grouped together, standing in line, holding backpack strollers, and a grocery bag to contain their necessities. The homeless ranged from children and adolescents/teenagers to adults and the elderly.

Seeing the amount of people gathered on a day like this was amazing, and to be able to have an impact on each person’s life really means a lot to me! To be continued…

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Happy Holidays!

merry xmas socksSeason’s Greetings from me to you! I wanted to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas! I hope you  have the chance to celebrate today with your loved ones. Take the time to really appreciate your family. After all, “Tis’ the season to be jolly.”

As an update, I will be distributing the newly assembled kits this Saturday, December 29 at the St Vincent de Paul Village. I’m very excited and cannot wait what’s in store. I will be sure to post updates, as well as pictures. Stay tuned!


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