IN THIS season of giving, SunStar Cagayan de Oro will be giving something back to the community aside from the usual news.
This Christmas season, SunStar Cagayan de Oro is hoping to bring big smiles to at least 35 children in Boystown, just like it did last year.
The team from SunStar has organized an outreach program to Boystown Orphanage Saturday December 17, at Lumbia village, Cagayan de Oro City. The theme is dubbed, “Celebrate Christmas with kids and staff of Boystown.” There are also teams who join in and give humanitarian aid for these children.
SunStar is grateful to individuals and companies who have shown support and offered sponsorship to the event, namely: Seda Centrio, Centrio Mall, Del Monte, Coca-Cola Femsa Philippines, The Fraternal Order of Blue Eagles, Green Eagles, Monster Kitchen, Julie’s Bakeshop, Goldport Customs Brokerage, PhilQ Manpower Services, Card MRI Insurance Agency Landbank, Graphics, Jollibee Food Corporation, Cagayan de Oro Water District, Mc Donald’s, Steag, San Miguel Corporation, Victorian Freight Express Corporation, Aboitiz Power, City Councilor Lordan Suan, Vice Mayor Joaquin Uy, Nunungan Municipal Mayor Marcos Mamay, Congressman Maxi Rodriguez, Vice Governor Joey Pelaez, City Councilor Reuben Daba, and June Rommer Gallofin and family.
Bags, school supplies, toys, and Christmas gifts are already wrapped up for kids to enjoy. SunStar team has also purchased a party package from Jollibee in order to give the kids some yummy fast food and play games with them.
Boystown is an orphanage for boys. It is home to 35 orphaned, often neglected, abused, and abandoned children.
An earlier visit of the team Thursday, December 15, revealed that the place also seemed to be neglected. At the corner, there is only one house that the children can run into to shield themselves when it rains. The other houses stood unfinished with no roof to cover the building. A first look at the center is heartbreaking. The distressed houses need more care. The orphanage needs a major renovation.
The objective of having an orphanage is to rescue children who are abandoned and provide them love at times they needed it most. It helps connect and provide unconditional love to orphans.
“Gusto gayud ko nga sa kadugayon sa panahon bitaw, gusto ko nga matagaan og higayon ang mga bata nga makapuyo sa tinood jud nga balay. Mura man gayud ug nabutang ni nga tiaw-tiaw ra nga balay. Balay-balay lang. Gusto ko ba nga naa gayud kapuy-an sa bata nga ensakto. Na’ay gate. Tsada ilang kapuy-an (For a long time, I wanted to give the children a chance to live in a proper house. It seems that they are living in a pretend house. I wanted the children to really have a suitable house. There’s a gate. A better house),” said Marish Jay Cagas, Registered Social Worker in Boystown.
“Mao bitaw na ato silang gi-rescue kay wala sila na well-cared sa ilang mga ginikanan. Mao na atong ge-rescue kay diri sa ato makatabang unta ta, na diri unsa naman hinuon nga wala na nila gi-isip na ilang balay. Mura ra nila’g boarding house nga sulod gawas ra sila (That’s why we rescued them, they were not well-cared by their parents. That’s why we rescued them so we can help them but it seems they haven’t thought of this place as their home. It seems that they consider this house as a boarding house where they can just go in and out whenever they want),” Cagas added.
She also added even medical conditions of the children are not monitored.
To get involved into community service is one big achievement for SunStar Cagayan de Oro. It is an opportunity to make a difference in a child’s life.
Children in an orphanage need hands of hope. They need the basic needs of food, shelter, and clothing, as well as schooling and health care, and someone to attend to their emotional needs with love and compassion, allowing them to grow in a nurturing environment.
With this, at least for a day, the kids who were abandoned, neglected, and who were not supported by their parents will be able to realize their potential.
These kids from Boystown may be worlds apart but it makes a difference for a child to know that someone cares.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on December 17, 2016.