You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion,
and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
– 2 Corinthians 9:11
The Christmas season is truly a season of sharing and gift giving. OHF beneficiaries are once again blessed for this season for the bountiful donations and gifts from various organizations such the Zero-in Events and Production who donated grocery gift packs on December 21, 2020.
A total of 105 beneficiaries from Quezon City, Manila, Rodriguez, Rizal, Cavite and Laguna and 95 families from its nearby partner communities of Barangay Sta. Lucia and Fairview benefitted from these donations which was distributed on Dec 21-23 and 28-30, 2020.
Support from generous organizations and companies are truly appreciated especially at this time of crisis. Once again, our heartfelt thanks to Zero-in Events and Production!
The OHF team in-charge of the relief operation in Cagayan left Quezon City on December 9, 2020 in time for the distribution scheduled on December 10.
The area coordinator of Enrile, Cagayan immediately contacted the Municipality of Enrile through Mrs Erlinda Apostol of the MSWDO and Elaine Respicio of the Legislative Office and a former scholar of OHF upon learning the onslaught of typhoon Ulysses in the province of Cagayan.
After collaboration and coordination, residents of Barangay Batu were identified as recipients of support for it is the most isolated Barangay. The initial plan was to go to Barangay Hall of Batu for the distribution of goods to identified 190 families, but impassable road problems going to the barangay made it difficult for the vans to reach the location. The Engineering Office of Enrile anticipated these difficulties that the Municipal Engineer deployed a road roller to flatten the rough and muddy road which was caused by a heavy rain the night before. However, this did not work. The goods were then unloaded on the cemented part of the road and instructed community leaders to advise the people to go to the location where the vans stopped for the distribution.
The distribution of goods was done smoothly despite the drizzling weather because of the help of barangay tanods and barangay officials of Batu who assisted throughout the distribution and also with the presence of CYDP Scholars who helped in packing items.
Each recipient received a pack containing a plastic pail, cauldron, blanket, sleeping mat, noodles, canned goods, pack of instant coffee and a bottled water. All the 10 scholars also received a pack of relief goods and a cash assistance amounting to P1000.00
Barangay Rosario is one of the communities that was affected by the typhoon Rolly and Ulysses. The after effect of the typhoon left the houses sunk in the flood which made residents move in the evacuation center, leaving them with no food and basic needs.
On December 1, 2020, the Open Heart Foundation Worldwide Inc. in partnership with the International Container Terminal Services Inc. Foundation distributed 100 grocery packs to the families from Barangay Rosario and 35 food packs and giveaways for the children who are the recipients of the Health and Nutrition Program before. The residents expressed their heartfelt gratitude, saying the groceries are a big help for their families.
The little ways of helping the people in the community has a great impact relieving them from worries on how to acquire food for their families. Every meal is a struggle when one does not know where to source them. Help and support from entities like ICTSI and Open Heart serve to uplift the spirits of people affected by these calamities. In every struggle, there will always be a chance to start and rise again. We are glad to witness the resiliency of these families. We are wishing for their safety and good health!
Many Filipinos were in need of help after typhoon Rolly hit the country during first week of November followed by typhoon Ulysses immediately after a week. These two super typhoons of the year reached public storm signal warning number 5 not only in the Bicol region but also in the neighboring provinces leaving several communities flooded, homes roofless, disrupted livelihoods, power outage and signal loss of mobile networks. Both typhoons also came at a time when the Philippines is already suffering from a surge of COVID-19 cases which made responses to victims of the said typhoons more complicated.
Seeing the impact of the typhoons in hard hit areas over the News, the Open Heart Foundation (OHF) quickly responded to the appeals of families from the affected communities. These appeals prompted the Foundation to respond immediately by preparing for a disaster relief mission in Tabaco, Albay. It was previously agreed upon by all the staff that Christmas will be spent serving others in lieu of holding a Christmas Party in December.
No need to wait for December to serve others because the need is now. So planning, coordination and budget preparation were done simultaneously and purchase of items ensued. At first, coordination with the area has not been easy due to lack of electricity and poor signal of mobile networks. So, we requested the help of OHF’s former staff from Sorsogon, Ms. Czarina, to go to the area and find a focal person for the relief operation.
On November 2, OHF requested from the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office of Albay for a list of areas badly stricken by the typhoon. The project site was chosen based on damage assessment report which says that the City of Tabaco had the largest number of evacuees reaching more than 16,000 families or approximately 64,000 individuals. When OHF acquired the necessary details, it proceeded in purchasing relief goods to be distributed such as pails, sleeping mats, blankets and grocery packs for 300 families located in 3 barangays; 2 from upland and 1 from mainland.
On November 18, OHF conducted the disaster relief operation in Tabaco City, Albay with a theme “Bukas-pusong paglilingkod, sa iyo’y aming ihahandog.” The preparation was done methodically, observing requirements for the travel and COVID safety protocols. In the morning the group went to upland Barangays Basagan and Bonot. But due to sporadic rain in the area, the group were advised to meet the residents at the nearest covered court from the upland barangays where there was no need to go uphill. In the afternoon, the group continued to mainland barangay, Brgy Cobo.
While receiving the gift packs, the residents expressed their heartfelt gratitude. Some even cried while receiving the goods. They said that the packs will be of great help as they were running out of household supplies. It really felt good hearing such appreciation coming from the beneficiaries. It relieved the fatigue brought about by the 14 hours travel just to deliver these aids and made them feel that OHF is one with them in times like this.
Up to this day, many are still hoping and requesting for assistance for the victims of typhoon. Despite the pandemic, the Filipinos, together with our organization (OHF), do not waver in helping our countrymen in need. The spirit of cooperation and solidarity still prevail.
Typhoons in the Philippines are inevitable. In fact, it has become part of the lives of the Filipinos. We are known for being resilient and know how to survive any hardship.
On November 1, a typhoon named Rolly was declared as the strongest typhoon for the year 2020. It has damaged some parts of the Philippines, leaving houses destroyed and families in distraught. Due to this situation, the national government, local government, non-government organizations and even voluntary individuals organized to help the affected areas.
However, on November 12, another typhoon hit the Philippines which brought about more damages. The typhoon Ulysses had caused so much flood in some of the areas in Metro Manila, other regions and the most shared posts in social media is the province of Cagayan; leaving the houses submerged in flood. People climbed up their roofs, crying for help and rescue.
With these reported disasters, the Open Heart Foundation has organized a relief operation in the area of Rizal, specifically in Barangay Wawa. Barangay Wawa has been greatly affected by the typhoons and is in need of donations. The Foundations donated clothes and food packs to the victims on November 16, 2020 with the assistance of former ABSNET officer, Ms. Marinel L. Montallana.
Keeping other people in need is the very core of the Foundation’s existence! We are wishing everyone’s safety and fast recovery!
One of the core programs of Open Heart Foundation Worldwide, Inc. (OHFWI) is the promotion of the participation rights of the children and youth through the Open Heart Foundation Youth Movement (OHYM). OHYM is an organized children and youth group whose members are the beneficiaries of OHFWI – Children and Youth Development Program (CYDP) nationwide. Through the CYDP, each beneficiary is empowered through capacity trainings and various psychosocial activities. Currently there are 30 areas where CYDP is operating, thus also having 30 active OHYM groups with over 307 members. Each OHYM Group conducts various activities voluntarily in their communities, not only as a means to share or pay forward the benefits and privileges they receive from the Foundation; but also to share their positive experiences with other children and youth through their community outreach activities.
Last February 2020, OHYM Biñan and OHYM Quezon City teamed up to brainstorm and finalize the draft for OHYM’s Vision, Mission, and Goals.
Here are the final Vision, Mission, and Goals of OHYM:
Vision: An active youth movement that stands united to claim our rights with corresponding responsibilities as we realize our purpose on the progress of the society.
Mission: Seize every opportunity and participate in all activities that create learning and open doors of engagement in our communities that help in our holistic development.
1. To educate oneself and transmit new learnings to our fellow children and youth.
2. To unite us, children and youth in advocating our rights and capabilities.
3. To empower us, children and youth to become functional members of society.
After finalizing the Vision, Mission and Goals, a Logo Making Contest were also opened to all OHYM Groups. Thirteen OHYM groups submitted their entries to join the contest. The wining logo will be used as the trademark of OHYM projects and its members. The winning logo was chosen from among various entries coming from different areas of operations of the Open Heart Foundation. Beneficiaries voted based on three criteria: relevance of the logo to the VMG, creativity, originality and general vote (choice of the beneficiaries as to logo appearance and its symbolism)
The beneficiaries voted for the logo of their choice and the top 3 was voted upon by four ADMIN staffs for the final ranking.
The entries from Biñan, Pangasinan, and Romblon are the top three choices of the beneficiaries. After the judging of 4 OHFWI Staff, the entry from Pangasinan is the 3rd place, Entry from Biñan is the 2nd place, and entry from Romblon is the 1st place and the official logo of OHYM. Each winning entries received a cash prize amounting to PHP 10,000.00 (1st place), PHP 7,500.00 (2nd place), and PHP 5,000.00 (3rd place).
SARS-CoV-2 a.k.a CoVid-19 pandemic has spread around the world affecting many people in different countries. To prevent the spread of the virus, countries have agreed on lockdowns and quarantines and encouraged people to stay indoors to save lives.
This pandemic caused many to cancel their special occasions such as birthdays and anniversaries. However, instead of letting the pandemic spoil the celebrations, people thought of creative ways to celebrate important occasions while maintaining social and physical distancing.
In 2020, the Open Heart Foundation celebrates its 28th year of giving services to the children and youth, families and communities in the Philippines; and commemorates the 20th death anniversary of our generous Founder, Atty. Robert LeGore. OHF is one of the many organizations that wish to celebrate very special occasion like this, but due to this pandemic, OHF decided to make the anniversary celebration safer by live streaming a Thanksgiving Mass via Zoom application. This is to prevent the potential exposure of its staffs, friends, families and guests to the deadly virus.
The anniversary celebration was held on August 1 through a series of programs. The program began by paying tribute to our Founder, Robert LeGore; for the life he shared with the Filipino people and his legacy of having an open heart to empower so many children and youth. After paying tribute, our Executive Director, Ms. Rosalinda Perez, gave her opening message.
After all the preliminaries, a Thanksgiving Mass was officiated by Rev. Fr. John Harvey Bagos of Good Shepherd Church. He was assisted by OHF Executive Director and selected staff in leading the Readings and Responsorial Psalms.
After the mass, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Dr. Carol Encarnacion-Dacanay also gave her message of inspiration in relation to the thanksgiving celebration.
On the second half of the program is the announcement of the top 3 winners of the Logo-Making Contest and the announcement of the official logo for Open Heart Youth Movement (OHYM) under Children and Youth Program (CYDP). OHYM is an organized children and youth group whose members are the beneficiaries of CYDP. It is an active youth movement that stands united to claim their rights with corresponding responsibility as they realize their purpose and roles towards progress and nation building. To formalize them as a group, a logo-making contest was opened to all OHYM groups. The logo entry from OHYM Romblon was chosen as the winner and was designated as the official logo of the Open Heart Youth Movement.
The pandemic presented us challenges of different kinds but it also strengthened our resolve to realize our goals and made us closer to each other. The online celebration was attended by the board of trustees, staffs, beneficiaries, graduates, parent volunteers, network partners, previous employees and other invited guests. Truly, their presence signify that they are one with Open Heart Foundation’s mission and vision for the children and youth.
We also took this opportunity to bless the LeGore Learning Center; a learning center intended for pre-school children residing within the subdivision and nearby subdivisions. It is envisioned to cater the needs of regular children and children with special needs thru inclusion.
As the program ended and as a sign of solidarity, everyone was invited to give a heart sign virtually, a heart that symbolizes our commitment, compassion and unselfish dedication for the empowerment of children and youth.
During the Enhanced Community Quarantine, Open Heart Foundation (OHF) conducted relief operation by giving grocery items to our needy beneficiaries and their families to ease their concerns of providing foods on the table. This was considered as the PHASE l of the three-pronged-approach envisioned by the Foundation as its pro-active response to the pandemic crisis. Phase l- was providing foods and goods to families who could not go out and work to earn a living.
Now that most of the areas are under General Community Quarantine (GCQ), and people were given a chance to work and earn, OHF moved forward towards the PHASE ll approach by helping out not only its beneficiaries but also its partners who are in the frontlines, Local Government Units (LGUs), school partners and ECCD teacher-partners. OHF donated boxes and packs of personal health protective items such as gallons of alcohol, goggles and face masks. Phase ll’s objective is to support our frontliners; whom we consider our present day heroes.
The OHF staffs conducted a series of coordination with the LGUs, schools and day care centers in their respective areas of coverage and then scheduled the month of June as the start of distribution of health protective items. PHASE ll is still ongoing as of this writing.
The beneficiaries of the health protective items (HPI) were the OHF’S LGU partners and Health Care Workers in Fairview in Quezon City, Carmona, GMA and Silang in Cavite, Binan in Laguna, Catarman in Northern Samar, and Rodriguez in Rizal. OHF also donated sets of HPIs to Marinduque State College. ECCD partners in NCR and nearby towns are also among those beneficiaries.
Looking forward to our PHASE lll approach which we hope to accomplish before classes start!
In this battle of CoVid-19 pandemic, let us work together to completely eradicate this life-threatening virus. Let us also join the government’s call to “Stay Home to Save Lives” and educate ourselves on the CoVid Protocols and Safety Measures.
Due to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases, the government ultimately decided to implement a strict community quarantine/lockdown in different parts of the country. COVID-19 is a respiratory disease caused by the novel corona virus that first emerged in Wuhan, China in late 2019. The restricted movement of people was said to contain the spread of the virus.
With these restrictions in place, the Inter Agency Task Force (IATF) released a directive for business owners to allow their employees and workers to “work-from-home” or “stay-at-home”, except for the medical frontliners attending to people getting sick and military overseeing the implementation of certain protocols related to the containment of the virus.
As a result, many were temporarily deprived of their livelihood. Resources were not enough to provide for their families. Therefore, the national government, LGUs and the DSWD worked hand in hand to provide help and assistance to those gravely affected by the crisis
Open Heart Foundation (OHF)took a pro-active role and immediately responded to help ease the difficulties encountered by the families of its beneficiaries in Quezon City, Manila, Rodriguez, Laguna and Cavite by distributing bags of consumables composed of canned goods, several kilos of rice, noodles, coffee and sugar during the lockdown.
All staff residing near OHF main office in Fairview, Quezon City headed by the OHF Executive Director Ms. Linda Perez together with some volunteers prepared 250 packs for distribution. OHF also allocated 9-10 packs of relief goods for each staff to be given to their relatives and neighbors whom they know to be adversely affected by the lockdown.
Jerry, Tatet and Mark were in charge in the purchasing of the goods. The following day, Ma’am Linda, Jerry, Tatet, Mark, Hanna with her children, and Saleah with her sibling helped in the repacking of the goods. The distributions were done on March 26 and 27 on the said areas.
Together, we unite to fight this virus and pray for its total eradication.
Rest and recreation with team building activity is something that OHF staffs look forward to every year. This activity usually takes place after strategic/work and financial planning or after a big service event like medical mission or relief mission. And how does one prefer to relax? OHF staffs unanimously decided to go on a road trip to see other places that relaxes the mind and body after the taxing activity.
On February 20, 2020 after the planning session in Baguio City, OHF staffs proceeded to Vigan City, Ilocos Sur. The objective was for the staffs to relax and enjoy the sceneries they passed by and to know each other better during meals and while strolling around. With the addition of three new social workers to the OHF team, the group enjoyed each other’s company and learned how to fit in and welcomed the new ones.
If there is a place up North that evokes curiosity and excitement for local and foreign tourists; Vigan is one you can find in the list. Vigan is a popular destination for those wanting to see the Philippines of yester years when our country was still under Spanish regime.
Along the way to Vigan, Ilocos Sur, we passed by Candon, Ilocos Sur which is famous for its locally made pasalubong items like cornick of different flavors and other renowned products. The group also had a stop-over in Narvacan public market and bought some bagnet, a deep fried crispy pork belly dish that is similar to lechon kawali and originated from Ilocos.
Finally, we arrived at our destination Vigan, at lunch time. We visited the St. Paul’s Cathedral (also known as Vigan Cathedral) and spent some time inside the church to give thanks and pray. The group soon crossed the Calle Crisologo (also known as Vigan Heritage Village) which is famous for its cobblestone streets, old houses and calesa.
The staff took the liberty to stroll around the area and enjoyed the sights of old historical structures which was painstakingly preserved by the local government. We had picture-taking everywhere (selfie-groupie) for memorabilia and shopping of souvenir items, including delicacies that you can only find in Vigan.
To sum it all, everyone enjoyed the whole day tour especially the food trip and picture taking as it was a great experience for all as a team. Hoping that someday, we could go back and enjoy once more each other’s company thru the activities we shared.