Leaps & Bounds

Trip Start Jun 28, 2013
Trip End Aug 25, 2014

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Flag of Philippines  , Visayas,
Saturday, June 14, 2014

Hi Everyone,

First I must apologize for keeping so many individuals out of the loop for the past two weeks, but let me tell you the past two weeks have been a whirlwind for me. However, in the end I can easily see that the progress in Cangumbang has literally come leaps and bounds.

We have now finished our second build a home, we are in the midst of preparations to begin the construction of our water tower and the installation of our water tank, and the kids are back at school!

On the first few days of the month I was in Cebu retrieving over 500 pounds of clothing, quilts, and book donations from the U.S. (to all of you donors and rockstar-drive initiators thank you!). It was an incredibly exhausting few days, from Sunday night to the wee hours of Wednesday morning, but the community is extremely grateful to see so many blessings from individuals that have never met.

I have also purchased hundreds of educational supplies and other items for the center and the kids in the past few weeks, thanks to a fundraiser at a Spanish school last year, again the kids cannot contain their excitement and thankfulness for the new supplies.

The past two weekends have gotten in to a great rhythm...

On the first Saturday of the month I tried out my Mom's famed white board games with the kids (something she has done in her classes for years). I was able to purchase 30 mini white boards to use with the kids. We split the kids in to teams and started with a spelling competition followed by a math competition. The kids were squealing with excitement and with answers throughout the whole game, and at the end of the day they were anxious to play again on Sunday.

After the game was finished we distributed two big bags of clothes to the four to seven year olds. The kids lined up and we helped them choose one or two pieces of clothes each (yes there are really that many kids that come to the center!). It was great to see their eyes sparkle as they tried on new things.

On the following Sunday the center was literally bustling. When I arrived the kids immediately devoured the white boards for drawing and games. A group of the kids mothers were in the center, most of them with little ones below three, so they helped me prepare the food for our Sunday Feeding. Yet another supply I purchased for the center with donations was a gas stove, making our Spaghetti for the kids that much more easy to prepare. It was so nice to have everyone upstairs together.

Some of the children played a game with the white boards with my friend Rachel, I popped in a movie sent from my dear old Dad for the little ones, and the mothers and I did the rest :)

By the time the spaghetti was ready the movie had finished and the kids were ready to eat. There was plenty to go around and the mothers were able to reap the benefits of their hard work too.

We ended the day yet again with more clothing distribution, this time for the teens.

This weekend the kids were able to play with a handful of new toys from Badminton to Checkers, and they were beyond elated to enjoy the toys while my favorite group of mothers prepared the feeding.

Today I decided to have another team competition with the kids using the white boards, spelling again With some bonus points for knowing what the words actually meant. My boss's wife was nice enough to donate some of her kid's quiz games so we now have a plethora of games to  use with the boards.

I finally feel like we have leapt over the bump in our road caused by the Typhoon, meaning we are finally further in the development of the community center than we were before the storm. We are now cooking the meals inside the center, providing educational activities for the kids, distributing clothing, and supplying the kids with a range of games, toys, and special activities. We are also providing regular feedings for all the kids in the community, and thanks to the Hope for Haiyan group, it looks like we may have funds to do so once a week for the rest of the year!

By next week I hope to have our library at the center completed, and I will also get to introduce my cousin Dana to the community, and she plans to do some crafts and activities with the kids too!

Leaps and Bounds doesn't even begin to explain how far we have come at times. From the days of digging and mixing cement, to the complete devastation of the entire village, to the fight to get the community's needs met, to the center repairs finally being completed.

I now have a center that is better than ever before, set in a village that is stronger than ever before.

I cannot wait to see the future of these children, their lives have truly been changed by the support they have received.

Thank you all for supporting my project, I am eternally grateful for every ounce of it.
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Suzy on

Glad there was enough! :)

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