June 2, 2023

A group of young individuals used the power of social media to raise funds and help in the effort to reach out to individuals adversely affected by the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) imposed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease-2019 (Covid-19).

Wanting to make a difference, Yani Martin and her friends Danica and Katrina Leyba, Lian Martin, Monica Bogayong, and Francheska dela Cruz purchased vegetables out of their pockets and brought these commodities to areas where their chosen beneficiaries reside.

The group first reached out to the pony boys, senior citizens, and single mothers at Barangay Pacdal on April 10 and to single mothers of Barangay Pinget on the same day.

Martin said they were able to reach out to 100 beneficiaries on that day.

“Initially, a few reached out with donations in kind so we were able to give five kilos of vegetable and two kilos of rice for 100 families,” she said.

Martin said they posted their initiative on Facebook and encouraged their friends to join them.

“The donations came in slowly.”

For the second batch, Martin’s group reached out to single mothers, senior citizens, and volunteer garbage collectors at Barangay Irisan. They were able to provide for 120 beneficiaries.

“We also reached out to 300 families at the National Housing Authority (Tadiangan, Tuba). Most of them are persons with disability, senior citizens, and families that are still recovering from the impacts of typhoons Ondoy and Yolanda,” Martin said.

Initially targeting to raise P50,000,the group has so far raised P291,128.49 as of April 17.

The amount multiplied when the group thought of creating a pledge card on Instagram, in which they invited their friends to help them raise the P50,000.

“We were originally 21 trying to raise the funds from the pledge card that could raise P2,400 each. But to our surprise, a lot of us were able to ‘blackout’ more cards, which is why we surpassed the target amount,” Martin said, adding the people they chose to help blast their Instagram pledge cards are those willing and have a good following to encourage them to donate for the cause.

Under the group’s relief drive, “stations” are set up where various goods are put in place. The beneficiaries will walk through the stations and fill their bags with the commodities they need.

The commodities set in the stations are rice, vegetables, coffee, and bread, among other items.

Martin said the group she is working with belongs to the 20 to 24 age group. – Jane B. Cadalig