Christmas 2016 was a huge success! Every year more and more people line up to receive rice, canned food, used clothes, ice cream, and haircuts. Our hearts were filled with JOY seeing all the people leaving our compound with BIG SMILES after receiving their gifts – especially the children! It was amazing.
In line with the spirit of Christmas, the Lesh Family Foundation held its yearly Christmas charity giving at LFF clinic ground at Mangnao, Dumaguete City Philippines which sought to help less fortunate families around the city and even from neighboring municipalities. These families – whose numbers are estimated to have reached 1,500 individuals – were treated to a day of goods and food. To make the necessary preparations, LFF staff along with their children and some other volunteers help out in the said event. On December 24, 2015, approximately 50 volunteers help pack the goods, school supplies, candies etc. In total, they were able to prepare approximately 2500 packed goods that were to be dispersed the next day.
On the day of the event itself, more than 50 volunteers were present which included Mr. William Lesh, US LFF board member, who made the closing program. He commended LFF staff and volunteers of the Philippines for organizing and coordinating such event, saying “Maraming salamat sa inyong lahat, sa lahat ng nagbigay ng kanilang mga grasya at biyaya. Sa lahat ng tumulong, maraming salamat at maayong pasko.” (My sincerest thanks to all who have helped and to those who gave out of their blessings. Thanks yo so much and Merry Christmas.)
Mitchi Tayco led a thanksgiving prayer to officially start the “Giving.” This started at 7 AM. Then, the packed goods were dispersed. These packages were split into two – for the adults and for the kids. The adult packs consisted of grocery items (consisting of a kilo and a half of rice, a packs of noodle, a can of sardines, among others). A pair of slippers, clothing, medicine and liniments, and some foods were given away. The kids’ pack contained school supplies, a pack of candies and biscuits, and slippers. Children were also served with cakes and ice scream. The giving continues until supply lasts, one of the beneficiaries expressed his gratitude towards the organizers. “Salamat gyud kaayo na inyo kaming gihatagan ug tabang. Karon, naa na koy maikahatag ug maipakaon sa akong pamilya. Sa inyong tabang, mas duol na abton ang maayong kaugmaon.” (Thank you so much that you have given us this help. Now, I have something to provide my family with. With this assistance, a good future seems easier to reach.) Marivic Nazareno who volunteered in the charity giving, also stated, “It really is a great feeling when you have something other than a gift to boast about, and that is the fact that you have given something away freely. Christmas is the time of giving, and in these times of materialism, we must be brought back to the true spirit of Christmas.”
The Marirose beauty salon staff and beauticians along with the proprietress, Rose Bungcasan, also render free haircut and hair color to some people, adult or children, who cannot afford to pay at the salon. One of the beneficiaries expressed gratitude towards the beautician saying, “Sus salamat gyud sa LFF ug nakatilaw na gyud akong buhok unsay tina.” (Thank you to LFF. Now I have experienced how it is to have a hair color.)
It was indeed a very successful Christmas celebration. Seeing people in their biggest and widest smiles, saying, “Thank you for the gift, thank you for the love” is indeed a great joy to all of us who have labored for the success of the LFF Philippines Christmas giving. And to all who have shared their blessings in cash or in kind, May God continue to shower his abundant blessings to all of you. Mabuhay ang Pilipinas! Mabuhay ang Mangnao! Mabuhay ang LFF!
To God be all the glory, honor and praise. Thanks be to God.