It was a beautiful day in Sydney on the day of the Blackmores Sydney marathon. I’ve been in Sydney for 4 months and I’m enjoying every moment of it. A lot of proud firsts in life and would definitely cherish for a lifetime.
I was grateful for my friend, Reg who joined me that day. We’re both part of the Bridge Run. Our category starts at 9:00am. However, we didn’t actually started running at 9:00am since everyone is just starting to enter the race. Our actual start time was some minutes after 9:30am.
The 9k run is pretty much easy than the 14k. Haha! I’m thinking that it is because of a lot of factors: we’re “more” prepared than our first run; the running course is a bit easier than before; and it’s definitely shorter than the last.
I am also indebted for all those who supported my cause via Starlight’s JumpStart. I was able to raise $650 for this event and was the top 4 Individual fundraisers (as of writing). I was amazed that people would actually sponsor me for this run. I also would like to acknowledge those who helped me to spread the word. It’s not easy to ask for donations or look for sponsors so sharing these to your network of friends is very much appreciated.
We ended the race after an hour and we really had fun. The only problem we had was the first drinking station was after 4-5k already! We were so exhausted and thought that we’ll break down and won’t make it to the end. I didn’t bring my own bottle of water since based from my previous run, water station is available every 2-3k so it’s convenient. Imagine our delight when we saw the first drinking station! Hahaha!
Once again, thank you very much for your generosity and time for this fundraising event. My first Birthday Project in Australia was a success!
Update: My friend Elaine & JZ sent $15 as donation as well early this October. So my fun was raised to $665. Yey!
I’ve been asked by a number of my friends on how to donate so I decided to create a post for everyone to refer.
The goal of this post is to answer the question: “How to Donate?“.
There are a number of ways on to donate or show your support. I’ll list a few and if you think aI still miss something, kindly inform me.
1. Go directly to the Starlight Jumpstart Fundraising page and click on “Donate Now“.
2. Click on “Sponsor Me” link found on my blog’s sidebar widget. It will direct you to the Starlight’s official Fundraising page and click the “Donate Now” button. (See Option 1)
3. You can simply click on the direct link of the donation page: Everyday Hero Donation Page. It will redirect you to the page where you have to enter your name and payment details. Fill it up and click “Confirm & Pay”. That’s it!
sample donation page
Sample image of the donation page
Payment Methods: Credit/Debit Card, Paypal or Cash/Cheque (Australia only)
4. For Philippinesbased donation: You can directly deposit thru my BPI or BDO account and will just convert its equivalent to Australian Dollars. I’ll use the exchange rate of AUD 1 = PHP 40. Just email me the deposit slip to confirm the transaction. In return, I’ll be sending you a copy of the funds transfer notification with reference number for confirmation as well.
Account Name: Kathleen Madula
BPI Savings Account #: 4019009624
BDO Savings Account #: 00280689306
Branch: SM Megamall B
As I was learning more about the Starlight Foundation, I get so excited to join all their events. Currently, they have this movie nights event where you host a group of people to watch a specific movie. I also got excited to see a fun-run on mid September. I did the Sydney City2Surf this month just for fun, so why not do it again for a cause. It’s the how things go here in Australia. I’m not sure how they fundraise around here before the first fun run. My aunt told me that people do something to fundraise and the marathon is one of them.
The fun run is called Starlight Blackmores Sydney. I’m not quite sure what Blackmores mean but that is how it’s called. The Starlight Children’s Foundation is one of the official charities listed on the Blackmores fun run page.
Starlight is the only organisation to have a permanent presence in all major paediatric hospitals throughout Australia – delivering programs 7 days each week to children with all types of illnesses & conditions where and when they need it most.
I called Starlight foundation to learn more about this fun run and the collaboration with the “Celebration Donations – Donating in lieu of a gift” program. I was able to talk to Tegan who willingly assisted me on how to combine the two. So they called Everyday Hero who is responsible for the donation pages and informed them of my concern. After a day, the just merged it and shifted my account to JumpStart instead of the Celebrations! How quick was that?
So instead of the Celebrations event page, I now have the JumpStart page that will be up and active starting today up until the 30th of September. I really wish I can raise up to $1000. If not, at least I tried.
Support me, okay?
For more information on the Starlight Children’s Foundation, please visit www.starlight.org.au or call 1300 727 827
I’ve been thinking of my Birthday Project 2013 ever since I moved to Sydney. I felt bad that I can’t do it with my friend Coe whose been my partner in crime during these days. I know I can’t do the things I used to do in the Philippines since I’m new here. I don’t even know if charities exist here. Little did I know, the answer to my question is just around the corner.
Exactly 2 weeks ago, I started working in a company here in Australia. I got to learn new things, made new friends and just enjoying everyday of workday. On my first days, I was welcomed warmly by everyone, I got my own space and desktop. And then they set-up my email. I noticed then their email signatures have more lines than the usual signatures I had before. They’ve included a link to Starlight Children’s Foundation. That my friends caught my attention.
I’ve been reading about this foundation since then and felt that it was the Lord’s answer to my prayers. Now I had a charity institution as a beneficiary of my yearly Birthday Project 2013. It is so timely and it is also for children. You know how my heart is for the Youth of today, so this is the perfect match.
The Starlight Children’s Foundation provides positive distraction and entertainment for seriously, chronically or terminally ill and hospitalised children, to take their mind off the pain, stress & isolation caused by their illness and treatment. Starlight provides an opportunity for them to simply be kids, have fun and connect with other children. Starlight does this through entertainment programs within and outside the hospital environment.
Luckily, they had this page on how to fundraise, so I created one. I’ll still continue to research about this foundation and start to share the donation page in a couple of days. You can see my donation page here.
I hope you can support me again like you used to when I’m still in the Philippines. This would be a challenge for me since a lot of donors in the past gave goods instead of money. Well, I wouldn’t know unless I try, right?
I really don’t know where to start. It’s been months already and I can still remember what happened during that day. Well, actually I can still recall the moment we decided to start and plan for this year’s Birthday Project. Since Coe has already shared a very good narration of what had happened, I’ll just share my side of the story. By the way, hands down to my good friend Coe for doing such a wonderful post. It’s her first time to do a narrative blog post as she’s more on the reflective and intellectual kind of write ups compare to mine. Hahaha! Good job Coekie!!! ^_^
Okay let’s start this looong narration of the event before the year ends!
banner by Nico Orillano
As soon as we got up, we followed up our suppliers and confirm the delivery time. While I was preparing the programme and other stuff, Coe and Ian went to Market Market to pick up 10 dozens of Pastel fresh from Camiguin! While they are getting those delicious treats I am confirming the headcount, volunteers and other suppliers for the day’s activity. After lunch, we all went to DBS to setup and prepare everything.
arranging the school’s New Canteen
volunteers preparing the materials
We were stationed at the New Canteen, very much different from the way I pictured it. So many things have changed but it’s all good. The volunteers arrived one by one and I was really happy to see them. It was fortunate that these good-hearted people trusted me coz I really don’t know most of them. We just communicated thru emails and SMS and there they are, very much willing to give a helping hand. We started with a prayer led by Ian to guide us for that momentous event.
grouping the children
The kids were already at the entrance and they were asked to fall in line in groups of 10. It was a bit disorganized but luckily was able to control it. Special thanks to my Grade School adviser, Ms. Pineda now Mrs. Oliveros for also helping us that day. The group leaders, known as Mother Goose/Father Goose were chosen to lead each group throughout the activity.
I first asked them their names and grade level before they head off to the food carts c/o Ton O Fun! The kids loved the cotton candy and popcorns! Who wouldn’t?!
asking their names and grade level
So after some sugar intake of these kids, we introduced ourselves and gave them a bit of a background of who we are and what we’re doing. We are hoping that they will get inspired and be grateful for the things they have may it be big or small.
group 1′s turn to enjoy the food carts
Here are the activities that day:
Create your own Party Hats
Father Goose of the group helping his team in making their party hats
We gave them pink strip of Pink Cartolina paper (c/o Nico) and a box of 24-pc crayons to test their artistic skills. It would be nice to see how they want their party hats to look like. Everyone was serious with their craft since we’re giving a prize to the best Party Hat-Nametag.
children fitting their party hats
After a few minutes, the volunteers picked the best hats on their group. We got the best 3 hats and eliminate by choosing the person who has the loudest clap from the audience. The winner by unanimous decision was Brenalyn.
best party hat winner, Brenalyn!
She even sang a song to us ‘coz the crowd was howling and teasing her to sing. She was shy at first but then sang “Hulog ng Langit” and everyone sang with her. Such a talented kid!
GAME 1 – Arrange Yourselves
checking if the arrangement is correct
The game was facilitated by Ian. We prepared 5 categories (Name in Alphabetical order, Height, Shoe Size, Birthday and Number of Siblings) but we had a tie. It was hard since everyone’s quite competitive. The tie breaker was the Grade Level category. Team 4 won the game.
team 4 winners
Welcoming the CCA Manila Team
CCA Manila Team
Finally, the star of the night has arrived. With the help of friend networking, we were able to collect more than 500 signatures who supports our cause. Because of this, the CCA Manila team generously sponsored the kid’s meal and even prepared some loot bags for them. The food they prepared for the kids: Spaghetti, Chicken Fingers with Gravy and a Choco Revel slice for dessert. They have drinks included too!
CCA Manila Team
The team consists of the following: Ms. Lovely, Chef Jel, Chef Regina, Chef Marge, Chef Jenny and Chef Camille
GAME 2 – Bring Me
While CCA Manila is preparing the food, we had our second game. The famous, Bring Me game!
Bring me the person who has the longest hair length!
As Coe said, we were literally “mobbed” during this game. Hahaha!
Food Distribution by CCA Manila
Sr. Carm starting the prayer before meals
Food distribution of CCA Manila
As soon as the CCA team finished preparing the food, Sr. Carm led the prayer before meals. A birthday song was sang afterwards before they enjoy the food that was prepared for them. Of course, group pictures per team is a must. The “most behaved” group was the first one to be called followed by the next and so forth.
Group Picture – photo grabbed from Coe’s blog
kids enjoying their meals
While the team was distributing the food, a special person came and she’s none other than, Kcat Yarza. She was one of my inspirations to be strong, be grateful and be generous no matter what your circumstances are. She gave a bagful of goodies for the kids too! However, she can’t stay long since they are also celebrating the birthday of her sister, Talitha. It was so nice of her to drop by the school and say Hi to the kids.
special guest: Kcat Yarza
GAME 3 – Human Bingo
explaining the Human Bingo rules
After dinner and some rest time, another game was done. This time, a more challenging game that requires them to get to know the people who are with them that day. The Human Bingo is similar to a bingo game where they have to fill up the boxes to win. Each box contains a description of a person that they have to look for in the crowd. This will help them to mingle in a different manner.
signing and filling up the Bingo boxes
This time, considering the sugar level of these kids, it was chaotic! Literally! Running, shouting, name it! Hahaha! The first 10 who correctly completed the papers won and were given prizes which are lunch boxes sponsored by Nuffnang.
GAME 4 – Longest Line
Longest Line game
The final game was the Longest Line. I have to warn them not to take off their clothes. They were already preparing to remove their shirts! Team 1 won this game.
After all the activities, it is time to end the day. We thank them, gave some word of advice and they again sang a Birthday Song to us. It was tiring, starting with the conceptualization, preparations and on the day event but it was all very much worth it. Seeing the smiles and hearing the sound of their laughter are priceless!
distribution of Loot Bags
In the end, like all the children’s party, we gave them loot bags that consist of the following:
Canned goods from Apple Abalos and Baby Ozato
Noodles from Michelle Abalos
Pansit Canton from Rheena Sison-Panser
1 kilo of Rice from Celia Abalos
Pastel Buns from Dr. Viel Vincent Jose
Toothpaste from NuffNang Team
Ballpens from Bryle Ian Bolong
Small bag from Ralph Alcantara
Candies and Sweets from Kcat Yarza and Valeri Ann Chua
We also added from the sponsored fund:
Biscuits and Cream Sandwiches
1 Bar of Soap
1 box of 24-piece crayon
These are all made possible with the help of our generous sponsors who extended their help and supported our little project.
Coe & Me with the kid’s sweet Thank you messages
I’m happy that we were able to do this this year. I’m hoping that next year would be a better one. We are just a bunch of people sharing our blessings to our brothers and sisters. We wanted to show them that life is indeed beautiful and worth living whatever situation we are in. We just have to look at the brighter side of things.
Birthday Project 2012: DBS Street Kids
“This is the key to life: To expect everything to be given to you from above, yet to be genuinely surprised and forever grateful, when they are. Expecting all good things to be yours, while not knowing how to take anything for granted. If there may be a key in life, this is the key.” ― C. JoyBell C.
Our good friend and ever loyal supporter, Kcat Yarza featured us on her article in Manila Bulletin last October 28, 2012. Sharing you the article she made but modified the description of the image since there was an error on the published image.
Read on and be inspired with her writing like we always do…
Don Bosco School’s street kids enjoy ate Kath and ate Coe’s birthday treat.
A few days ago, I took part in Kathleen Madula and Coe Tolosa’s 2nd Birthday Project in Don Bosco School (DBS) with a couple of streetkids. Kathleen and I were schoolmates at DBS and we share a passion for reaching out to those in need.
Last year, Kath and Coe had their first birthday project at Grace Be Born Shelter, a non-profit shelter for unwed mothers-to-be and abandoned babies. They played, mingled, partied, and had fun with the moms and babies in the shelter.
This year, it is for the DBS streetkids. The Salesian Sisters of St. John Bosco (FMA) hold its oratory in the school every Sunday where they teach streetkids catechism and hold a feeding program. I remember when I was still studying at DBS, I would see these street children playing in the school grounds after school hours and knowing and observing how our school helped them taught us how to reach out to those in need.
Kath and Coe’s birthday project was held in the school canteen. Food carts were around the place for the kids to enjoy and the chefs of CCA Manila made the event extra special by serving the kids with a scrumptious meal. “Thank you po Ate Coe and Ate Kath dahil pinasaya niyo po kaming lahat,” a couple of the kids wrote in their letters which they sent after the event.
We all know that the world changes every day, every moment, every second. What we did a second ago, no matter how trivial it may seem, will have an influence in the changes that happen, happened and will happen. So why don’t we do something good, and maybe by doing so, the world would also change a little bit better. As what St. John Bosco said, “Do good while you still have time.”
Share A Hug and Toys for joys
A hug gives us comfort because it is one of the best medicines — four hugs a day prescribed for survival, eight hugs a day for emotional strength, and 12 hugs a day for growth; and hugs are a lot better when shared.
Rachelle Gregorio of Touch of Ellahcar will hold Share-A-Hug at Bahay ni Maria in Laguna, a haven for neglected, abandoned, and homeless elder women. Rachelle’s aim is to create a concrete and practical difference in the lives of those who are struggling by reaching out to them with a hug.
As kids, we all experienced opening a gift from underneath a Christmas tree; but how about those children with no homes and no families? With this in mind, Rachelle came up with “Toys for Joys” where she and her friends visit orphanages and distribute not only Christmas presents but also let the kids experience the spirit of Christmas. Share your hug to the LOLAs or make a child happy this Christmas, contact Rachelle Gregorio at 0927-5042796.
Pasko ng Kabataan along the Riles
For the 3rd time this year, Jamie Martinez and her D-Clan Youth Organization will share the Christmas spirit with the children who live along the railroad in their place in Muntinlupa Ctiy. They were able to make 200 kids happy in 2010, 500 kids in 2011, and hopefully put a smile on 600 kids this coming December 23. Anything as long as it’s from the heart is acceptable. Let us make this event a success and make 600 kids a lot happier. Contact Jamie Martinez at 09339776874.
Sharing the happiness
“I always see that my “neighbors” are okay. I spearhead community reach-outs especially for indigent communities and individuals,” said Marcelo Otiguey — one of the finalists of Cebuana Lhuillier Insurance Solutions Happiest Pinoy 2012. He conducts a gift-giving activity during the month of December, helping provide wheelchairs to those who need them, giving out slightly used clothes, toys and foods to children and adults, and solicit elementary and high school books for far-flung schools. What do can you do for them? Contact Marcelo Otinguey at 0918-4165087.
October Gift-giving Fest
Jen Arellano has been working in Doha, Qatar for a couple of years, but even though she’s away from home, her passion in giving continues. It only shows that distance is never a hindrance in caring and sharing. Whenever she comes home to the country, she makes sure to collate whatever she can from her friends and reach out to the kids of Linggap Pangarap ng mga Paslit Center Inc. (LPPCI) in Batangas City. Jen is currently in the country and tomorrow, together with some of her friends and family, she will be off to LCCPI with happiness and gifts in tow to share their blessings with the children in the center.
Jen shares, “The more blessings we share, the more children will be happy, and the more people will be blessed.”
Let’s all do something good and be a cheerful giver, not only when the Christmas season is coming, but always.
(The author suffers from a rare genetic disorder called Neurofibromatosis Type 2. She maintains an online store (www.kcatyarza.com) that sells products she personally designed to benefit her hEAR fund raising project. She was also a finalist in Cebuana Lhuiller’s Happiest Pinoy. If you have any questions you can reach her through firstname.lastname@example.org)
As mentioned, a separate page dedicated to our sponsors who didn’t hesitate to share their blessings to these kids. We were overwhelmed with the response and some of them were friends of our friends. Truly we are grateful for their big heart.
First and foremost, thank you to the FMA Sisters/Salesian Community for approving our Birthday Project to be held on their grounds, Don Bosco School, Sta. Mesa. To the Sisters, most especially to Sr. Ailyn, in-charge with the Oratories and Sr. Carmen who helped me during the planning and on the day preparations, thank you so much! During the event, Ms. Recci, my Grade 6 Adviser, was there to join and help us go about with our event. It was such a heart-warming experience to be back and see former teachers again.
The CCA Manila Team
Our major sponsor for the event was The Center for Culinary Arts Manila. They were very much willing and kind enough to sponsor the food for the street children. They not only prepared for the kids but also included the volunteers to taste their recipe made with love. They even had loot bags for the kids too!
Thank you to all those who signed up in our “Sign up for a Cause” campaign. Your participation means a lot to us. We had more than 500 names who supported our endeavor. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!
Lovely Hollera, Marketing Officer of CCA Manila
Thank you Lovely Hollera, Marketing Officer of CCA Manila who is also my former bus mate for accommodating us in your busy schedule. May the CCA Team be blessed for having a generous and compassionate heart.
We also would like to thank all who donated in kind. Indeed, we appreciate everything we got no matter how big or small it is. To enumerate:
We also would like to thank the volunteers and visitors who celebrated with us even on a weekend! Their presence and service was a great help for the success of the event. We really are thankful for Jhoie, Joey, Jhoanna, Issha, Aileen, Mitch, Apple, Ryan, Marian, Michelle, Kathleen, Elyse, Christian, Therese, Kcat and to our official photographer Nico! Due to change of schedule, some of our friends didn’t make it. We also extend our gratitude to Faith and Fr. Caloiski who were supposed to be there and had a special part in the programme.
Of course, we are forever indebted to these two special men in our lives: Andrew Abalos and Ian Bolong. They were supportive as ever! As Coe said, thank you for being the “best runners”, drivers and personal assistant during the event. We wouldn’t make it without you guys on our side! Mwah Mwah, Tsup Tsup! Hahahaha! ^__^
Special mention to Abalos Family for accommodating us the night before the event. We all had a sumptuous meal c/o the girls in the family.
with my Andrew ^_^
with Coe’s Ian ^_^
I couldn’t think of a better conclusion for this post, instead I got this excerpt from Coe’s entry that says it all:
The success of an endeavor magnifies its greatness by how many lives you’ve affected and how many people you’ve touched. Thank you very much for the support and love… Kathleen and I are deeply loved and blessed.
As a prelude to my Birthday Project 2012 post, I decided to break it down for readability purposes not to mention my chance to stall the next write ups. Hahaha! Kidding aside, here’s the first part of our Birthday Project 2012 write up.
To start off, we’ve started planning mid September 2012 already. I know it’s a bit late for this kind of event we’re eyeing on but still we managed to stay calm and brainstorm what we want to achieve. If you’ve been following my blog, you already know that we had our birthday project in Grace to Be Born shelter last year. This year, we wanted something new and a bit extravagant so we decided to host a party for less fortunate kids.
Initially, we just wanted to have 30 kids considering the budget we had last year. However, my conscience was pushing me to expand and stretch the number to 50 kids. It was a really difficult to decide especially that it’s our first time to do this. We do attend outreach programs but this is different since we will be the ones planning and executing everything. Nevertheless, we agreed. 50 kids, GO! Hahaha!
I communicated with Sr. Ailyn Cayanan, FMA of Don Bosco School Sta. Mesa to coordinate our plans. Since she said her approval, we started to do “the work”.
First things first… SPONSORS! We definitely need donations in Cash and In Kind so we formulated and discussed how to do about it. Of course our friends and relatives were the first ones in the list. Sharing it with friends of friends would be a bonus. With no time to spare, we started sending emails, posting e-cards, word of mouth, etc. Everything we can think of to extend our network and give them the opportunity to share.
Since then, positive responses and overwhelming generosity were seen considering a short time frame. I would enumerate who took part of our endeavor at the end part of my Birthday Project post.
Coe & Kath at National Bookstore doing last minute shopping holding Thank You cards made by Nico Orillano
A day before the event, I decided to take a day’s off and start preparing for stuffs needed for the next day’s event. We bought additional stuff and eco bags for them. We’ve gathered all donations in kind and packed them together for the kid’s loot bags. The food and cart suppliers were also coordinated accordingly to be able to have a smooth sailing event.
It was a really a team effort that we stayed in one house just to prepare for the event. With this, I sincerely thank the Abalos’ family for welcoming us and helped us from the beginning up to the end of our project.
There were challenges encountered during the preparations but thankfully we all surpassed that and was able to execute what we had in mind.
For In Kind donations, kindly prepare at least 50pcs of whatever it is you want to donate as we’re stretching our capacities and challenging ourselves to not only invite 30 street kids but accommodate up to 50 kids! It would be more fun and enjoyable seeing a lot of kids sharing and playing together.
Let’s all make this possible. Besides, it’s BER months already. You might want to give it to them not only as our birthday gift but a Christmas gift for them as well.
Last year, I had my first birthday project for the benefit of Grace To Be Born foundation. It was a successful activity led by me and my friends. This project was also made possible by the kind donations of friends and family. And truly, I am very grateful.
This year, as much as I want to start early August to collate funds, I was caught up with life’s activities such as work and other extra curricular activities that made this update later than expected. I was hoping to start it on September 1st but unfortunately, I mistakenly deleted my birthday blog. I was trying to recover and fix everything but unfortunately I can’t deliver it as soon as possible. So, I temporary created a copy of my previous blog for me to be able to move on with this project. When I’m about to publish this post, I tried another tweak and poof! I was able to restore my Birthday blog! Yipee! ^_^
Anyway, I wanted to do something more than I did last year. With all the blessings that the Lord has given me, it’s just right to give back some love. With many charity institutions in the Philippines, listed in WikiPedia and not, I can’t decide what to pick. I narrowed down to somewhere close to my heart. In the end, I choose the Street Kids of DBS. Don Bosco School (DBS) is where I attended school half of my educational years (elementary & high school days) so these sisters are somehow responsible on who I am today.
Early this year, I was invited by DBS to give a talk/speech to the undergrads. That was such an honor for me and made me a little bit guilty not going back as often as I want. Because of this, I promise myself to return and be a blessing to them even in my own little ways. So this idea crossed my mind. I think, it’s time to give back.
The FMA sisters holds its oratory every Sunday. After the 7am mass, street kids are welcomed inside the campus and weekly catechism is held. Feeding program is also done from time to time but I’m not sure how often. I’ve been part of this Sunday activity when I was in high school. Maybe some of the kids I knew back then hopefully grew smarter and successful with the help of these kind sisters. Since every year, a lot of children are born and seen loitering around the streets, I’m sure I don’t know these kids anymore.
I’m still planning out what to do and when the celebration would be so at this point, there are no specific details yet. Most of them are just estimates. I still need to coordinate with DBS. It will probably held in mid October since I’m sharing this humble activity with a good friend Coe who will be celebrating her birthday on November.
Basically, our plan is to celebrate our birthday with the kids. It would be a fusion of a slight recollection that we normally do when we were in College and a children’s party. I hope we can pull off this plan of ours. A lot of brainstorming and planning is needed and I am already delayed in my target of starting this project last August 31.
For now, I need your generosity for our endeavor. Last year’s celebration was a success and everyone was happy. This year, I hope another fun filled day of sharing and joy to these kids will not only be a dream but a reality.