“If we could ask 100 runners bring one pencil each, there will be 100 pencils for 100 children.”
That was what Que and I had in mind when we first discussed the possibility of having the Takbo.ph community and inviting runner friends to support Pens of Hope in Davao. We were proven wrong though…. BIG time!
Give hope. Inspire others. Share your blessings. Encourage learning. Be involved!
– Pens of Hope in Davao
The simplicity of the project and what it advocates for got me hooked back in 2009. One person, one pencil, one child, one dream. 🙂 On 20th August, Jen posted on her FB page a call for support in the collection of pencils and other writing materials. I immediately sounded it off to Que, and Coach Pojie (who, to this day I am still thankful- for inviting me to join his Feed and Give Project 2 when I was still a newbie). I wasn’t let down with their replies. Both were enthusiastic about the project and pledged support. Que said that she’ll try to get Takbo.ph involved, I didn’t doubt her, but I never thought it’ll be anything like this….
I checked the party thread and was just amazed at the pledges from all who signed up to attend. My thoughts, “One of the best Christmas gifts ever!”
There will be something to send the children of Davao come Christmas. I was pretty sure of that. I’ve witnessed, in the few months that I’ve been a part of this running community, it has not yet failed in coming and seeing a project through.
Fast forward to 16th December. Arrived with Jen (Pens of Hope) and this was what greeted us at the registration area.
I greeted Que and she immediately told me that there are more bags under the table… she was not joking. And as more runners arrived for the party, the pile just kept getting higher and higher and higher. It wasn’t just one pencil per runner, it was dozen and dozens of pencils and other writing materials per runner.
I distinctly remember my conversation with Marga:
Me: This is just so overwhelming… thank you so much!
Marga: You doubted?
Me: No, I just didn’t expect it to be this much.
Jen was speechless, she was looking at the growing pile and shaking her head in disbelief as more attendees line up to put their “gifts”, and kept saying “unbelievable.”
After the party, we packed everything and while doing both Jinoe and Que kept on saying, “Here’s another bag” or “There’s more here”. In the end (or not) there were 13 BIG – FULLY packed bags of pens, pencils, crayons, paper and other stuff!!!!! Yes, stunned again!!! But wait, there’s more! Coming down to the building lobby, we heard Timmy talking to someone and saying, “Just wait here, the pencils are coming down.” And there was Jhuvy waiting with two more bags of pencils and writing stuff. Jen couldn’t believe her eyes. hahahaha!
I’ve always believed that the running community has and boasts of having the most self-less and giving people – those who would help without question and/ or having to ask twice. Small and big acts of kindness and generosity, runners giving back and paying it forward – even to those who they do not know, actions that keeps us grounded and reminds us that – there really is good in everyone – that we can make this world a better place with our collective effort – that we can do something. Last night, that belief was further cemented. Thank you so much!!!
Photos courtesy of Carlo Serrano and Dr. Marvin Opulencia. Thankies!
P.S. The author is not from Davao.. lol after being asked last night so many times. Jen is the one who hails from Davao.