The Open Heart Foundation Worldwide Inc. (OHFWI) aims to bring its programs and services to different corners in the country. Even before the pandemic started, Open Heart already had a plan to expand. It has already identified possible areas to extend its services. But due to nationwide COVID quarantine restrictions and protocols that need to be monitored, these plans have been temporarily put aside. However, Open Heart has not wavered performing its services and programs.
For year 2021, the Provincial Social Welfare of Development Office (PSWDO) of Cavite, helped the Foundation in identifying areas where to expand OHFWI programs and services. The PSWDO recommended the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Ternate, Cavite. According to them, many students are in need of educational support because the main source of income of families from the coastal area is only in fishing.
To jumpstart the partnership, Open Heart conducted a gift giving activity to help families who were previously affected by typhoon Maring and also served as its service project in celebration of the Foundation’s 29th anniversary and the commemoration of the 21st death anniversary of its Founder, Robert LeGore.
The assigned program coordinator in the area, Ms. Cheryl Ocampo spearheaded the coordination with the LGU. Courtesy call at the Mayor’s office, ocular visits, and series of meetings with the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office (MSWDO) to lay out plans for the activity were conducted in preparation for the activity.
When the strict quarantine restrictions were lifted, the Open Heart staffs immediately resumed planning, purchasing and preparing, then finally conducting the relief mission. Ternate LGU also provided support by overseeing the selection of recipients, registration, crowd control and implementation of COVID protocols. Everyone worked together to smoothly implement the activity.
The Community Relief mission took place on October 26, 2021 and was held at the Multi-Purpose Hall of Barangay Poblacion 1-A where 150 families were the recipients of gift giving activity.
Staffs from Fairview, Quezon City travelled at 5am to Ternate, Cavite. The team arrived at the venue at 7AM and immediately began arranging all the goods to be distributed. When the participants arrived, the program started and Ms. Cheryl hosted the program.
To officially start the program, Ms. Saleah Uclusin, Open Heart social worker, led the opening prayer followed by the acknowledgment of guests and participants by Ms. Emiliana Ilago from MSWDO Ternate. With great pleasure, the Hon. Mayor Lamberto Bambao delivered his welcome message. Open Heart Executive Director, Ms. Linda Perez, also gave an opening message in which she introduced the Foundation’s programs and services as well as the upcoming partnership of the Foundation with the LGU of Ternate, Cavite.
Each family received gift packs containing grocery items like rice, canned goods, noodles, coffee, spaghetti noodle with sauce, and cheese. Open Heart also distributed hygiene kit containing alcohol, face masks and face shields to each recipient. Open Heart also prepared snacks for all.
The Honorable Mayor also expressed his gratitude to Open Heart for choosing his municipality to hold the event which he called Early Christmas Gift Giving. It was heartwarming to see everyone coming out from the venue with a smile that mirrored their happiness. Even OHF staffs felt fulfilled and happy seeing the recipients happy. Services is more important during a crisis like this. They feel that doing these activities together bring a deeper level of fulfillment.
To God be all the glory!
Prepared by: Susie Bedia, Admin Officer