Sunday, April 7, 2019, was a great day for a carnival! A special group of 200 children from orphanages were treated to a fun day filled with games, magicians, jugglers, and free food on organized by Hands on Manilla on Good Deeds Day 2019.
Hands on Manilla (HOM) has participated in Good Deeds Day for two years because the concept of donating your time for a day of doing good fits well with HOM’s model for volunteer service. The organization partnered with the local government, local organizations, the BPI Foundation, Payoneer, and Zen Desk Philippines for the Good Deeds Day carnival. Payoneer took it one step further, and besides being one of the event sponsors, the company’s employees volunteered at the celebration.
Good Deeds Day was launched in 2007 and has steadily grown from 7,000 participants in just one country into a global movement of people doing good. In 2019, 3.9 million people from 108 countries participated as individuals, from corporations like Payoneer where every global office’s employees volunteer, or from nonprofit organizations like HOM.
HOM choose a fun themed day for children so that the children living in the orphanages could have a chance to feel special, even for just the day. Each child from the Bahay Maria Children’s Center, Holy Family Home for Girls, and St. Andrew the Apostle Parish Makati was paired with a volunteer for the event according to the organization.
Besides the usual carnival games and food, the volunteers also taught the children aged seven – 12, about caring for the environment by learning how to segregate waste for recycling as a way to feel part of the community and the planet.
Each child received a ticket that included a t-shirt, access to the fair, coupons for sandwiches, drinks, cotton candy, and ice cream. People who couldn’t attend the day were able to purchase tickets to donate to the kids. The carnival was also open to city residents, and over 800 people attended.
Monica Recto volunteered in 2018 cleaning up beaches on Good Deeds Day and returned again this year. “It’s a nice way to spend your Sunday, thinking of others and breaking the routine. We’re always so busy but making time to do that one good deed is always possible,” she told News Info Philippine.
Another returning volunteer, Mai Mislang, actively recruited her friends and their children to volunteer for the event because she wants children to learn the benefits of volunteering.
“I think the orphans who have experienced some form of trauma deserve this day to be shown the love that they deserve. It is also a great way for the more privileged children to interact with orphans in an enjoyable setting, as a way of showing them how fortunate they truly are and of teaching them to share their blessings,” Mislang said.
Hands on Manila founder and president Gianna Montinola said that organizing events like the Good Deeds Day carnival is a way to counter negativity like the daily news cycle.
“It is our way of trying to focus on what is positive and what is inspiring. It is our way of changing the conversation because when you change your conversation, you change your world,” she said.
That’s what Good Deeds Day is all about. Working together through volunteerism, we can benefit our communities and our planet.