AAI and OWI Christmas party At House of Hope
Thanks to Global Giving donors, Christmas Eve was a joyful time at House of Hope in Davao, Philippines where more than 3,000 children undergo cancer treatment from around the Mindanao region. A surprise party was hosted by volunteers from Asia America Initiative, One World Institute, Ed Tombo and other private citizens to distribute stuffed animals and other toys, coloring books and crayons. In addition, entertainment was provided by the giant mascot from Jollibee restaurant and a magical dancing Santa Claus with a white flowing beard and dressed in a colorful red costume. There was enough energy generated in the party room to light up the entire neighboring hospital.
Volunteer-leader and Santa’s main helper, Mr. Pinot Villocino, arrived with sacks full of 350 stuffed animals purchased with AAI funds through the generosity of the Global Giving community of donors. The children, some bald from chemotherapy, others with plastic. I.V. tubes in their arms, suddenly brightened with joy.
For many of these children undergoing difficult chemotherapy and other treatments, these gifts would be the first toys they ever owned. Significantly, their new soft and friendly best friends could become their comfort in the midst of their struggle for survival.
“How could we not cry with emotions,” Pidot reflected. “The act of kindness by people from around the world showed these children and their parents that they are surrounded with love.”
art as form of therapy and healing
Happy toy recipients with Jolly Bee mascot
Child undergoing chemo with toy
stuffed animal brings comfort during chemo
volunteer team at House of Hope Christmas party