a Silver Lining for Mothers of Bicol Project

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SILVER LINING ’82: Women helping women heal.

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill

Twenty-five years ago this year, we left the confines of our respective high schools to step into the Ateneo de Manila University, where one of the principles drilled into us by our Jesuit mentors was to become “Women for others.” The challenge back then was to live it after we left the hallowed halls of Ateneo. Twenty-five years down the road, as we celebrate our respective high school silver jubilees, we asked ourselves—have we lived up to that ideal?

Early last month, five of us, representing various exclusive girl’s schools, got together to form Silver Lining ’82, a group whose mission is to help bring cheer to women and children affected by calamities throughout the Philippines . Our group is made up of Dimples Reyes-Rara for St. Paul, Mickey Rodriguez for St. Scholastica, Alya Honasan for Institucion Teresiana (now Poveda Learning Center), Vina Francisco for Assumption, and myself for Maryknoll (now Miriam College).

For our first project, it is our hope to bring some cheer and hope to the women in the towns of Daraga and Guinobatan, Albay, who to this day languish in evacuation centers, caring for their children while living under appalling conditions and suffering from various women’s illnesses. Urinary tract infection is the most widespread and prevalent ailment among the women. Many of these women are single parents, having lost their husbands because of Typhoon Reming. Now, they have become the sole breadwinners and caregiver for their families.

To help alleviate their plight, our target is to bring 500 bags containing toiletries and underwear to the women in these centers. Five hundred may not be much, but providing care and kindness to even one soul can sometimes spell the difference between hope and despair in the life of a woman who toils day and night for her family.

Each bag is worth P200, and contains the following items—one toothbrush, a tube of toothpaste, bath soap, three pieces of underwear, a wash towel, a bottle of shampoo, and a bar of laundry soap. The items will be placed in a re-usable katsa bag to be sewn by a community of indigent women here in Manila. These seemingly insignificant items, basic stuff which we often take for granted, will mean a lot to the women we hope to reach. When you think about it, the price of one bag is equivalent only to a medium-sized coffee at your favorite coffee shop. Our target is to raise P100,000 by May 13, Mother’s Day, so that we can bring the bags to the Bicol mothers the week after.

How can you help? You can either commit to sponsor a number of bags or commit to donate a number of goods to place in the gift bags. Please let us know via e-mail how you wish to help out. We can pick up cash donations of at least P2,000 pesos (to subsidize 10 bags) or a minimum of 50 pieces of whichever item you choose to donate.

We hope that you will partner with us in bringing some degree of joy and hope to these women this coming May. May God bless you more as you become a blessing to other women. We thank you in advance for helping us.

Sincerely,

Cathy S. Babao Guballa
For Silver Lining ’82
cathybabao@gmail.com

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