“No one is too poor that he cannot give and no one is too rich that he cannot receive.” This is a saying that Elaine Desoloc from the Philippines kept on hearing every other day that she and her sisters attended Sunday Mass. She is the eldest among her four siblings, two sisters and a brother whom she describes as generous. Before covid-19 pandemic while attending physical classes in their respective schools, her sisters always requested their mom to pack two potions of food so that they could share with their classmates who did not have.
However, the pandemic really affected everyone negatively including Elaine’s family.
“My father lost his job for a while. Although my mom earns enough from her small retail business and I have a part-time job as a tutor, we can barely cover our expenses at home,” she shared.
This made it difficult to continue supporting other people in their community despite their willingness to do it. The biggest test for Elaine came when one day when she received a text through her phone from one of her friends asking for donations for fire victims in Barangay San Isidro, Antipolo City.
“I am friends with my teachers at Muntindilaw National High School. Although I already graduated two years ago, we continue to communicate regularly. It was the end of October this year when Mr. Luisito Brizuela, one of my former teachers, reached out to me and my friends,” she said.
Her sister Miyen who was using her phone to attend online classes was the first one to read the text asking for help.
“I was shocked when she told me we needed to start packing clothes. When I asked her why, she showed me the text and I just had to immediately agree,” she added.
By November 3rd, Elaine’s family had managed to collect a box full of clothes. They had spent the previous evening rummaging through boxes of their old clothes to find the ones that were in good condition to go into the donations box. Her mom who sells kids clothes also donated some new clothes from her stock. They had also requested for clothes from their neighbors who generously donated to them.
Elaine who was free the next day offered to deliver the donations to the school using her father’s motorcycle that she had learnt to ride. Her parents allowed her sister Xyrel to accompany her but insisted on her putting on her face mask and shield to protect herself from contracting the Covid-19 virus. Her friend John Angelo also joined her in collecting more donations from Sitios in the Barangay. Despite that day being rainy, Elaine, her sister Xyrel and her friend John ensured that they delivered all the donations to Mr. Brizuela’s office at the school.
Once they got home, her sister excitedly shared their volunteer experience with the family who were happy to hear it all.
“I knew they loved helping people and I rejoiced in knowing that my family will always be with me in my mission to serve the needy. We may not be rich and we may not have the resources we wish we had but we are always willing to support others in any way possible,” said Elaine.
She acknowledged the support she had gotten from her family and friends as well.
“Had it not been for the help of my family and friends, we would not have been able to aid the fire victims,” she added.
At GPW, we love hearing such stories of families uplifting others in their community. Instead of ruminating over how Covid-19 had affected her and her family, Elaine thought of how they could be a blessing to the lives of those who were less fortunate in their community. Generosity is not really about how much you have but how willing you are to serve others with the little you have. If you have a Sunshine Family Volunteer story to share or your family wants to start a project, email firstname.lastname@example.org.