“Bangon Talisay,” a fundraising activity organized by the Talisay Association of Manitoba (TAM) was held last January 15-19 at the Philippine Canadian Centre of Manitoba. It was set up immediately after the members of the association saw the urgent need of the stricken kababayan back home following the Taal Volcano eruption. According to its president, Belinda Garcia, people started messaging her to ask if something will be done to gather help for the Talisenos. Despite worrying about her own affected relatives, Garcia reached out to other members and was overwhelmed by the positive response she got. “Everyone was just ready to volunteer,” recounted Garcia.
Among the groups who helped TAM was the Philippine Canadian Centre of Manitoba, through its president Virgie Gayot , who willingly provided free use of the hall while its support staff,Joseph Dancel, unreluctantly helped to process the permit and coordinate the use of the said venue.
Help poured in for the five days that TAM ran the fund drive. Officers, members and even non-members volunteered. Many brought food to feed the volunteers. One member even brought a videoke for entertainment. A group of young massage therapists set up massage chairs, offered a massage for $10 and donated all the proceeds to Talisay.
TAM raised over $6000 in cash, cheque and e-transfer donations from members, non-members and various organizations and businesses in the community. A daily report of donations was posted on the TAM Facebook page. In-kind donations like clothes, medicines, masks, toiletries, milk and many others were also received and sorted for shipping. All donations will be sent to the San Guillermo Parish Church in Talisay, Batangas with whom TAM officers have initially coordinated for the proper receiving and distribution of donations.
On February 8th which is Talisay’s annual fiesta, members decided to turn it to another fundraising event as an extension of help to the volcanic eruption victims who, hopefully, are back on their feet by then.
The Talisay Association of Manitoba would like to express their gratitude to all donors, volunteers and media (CKJS 810, CBC, UNTV and Filipino Journal). “It is very heartwarming that even the people whose families and relatives were affected by this calamity, they are still willing to help,” Garcia expressed with gratitude.
You can follow the Talisay Association of Manitoba Facebook page for updates on the donations and other fundraising initiatives.
Photos by Belinda Garcia and Ron Cantiveros | Filipino Journal