Christmas is the season of joy and of giving the light of love to those who most need it!
The Sinag Hospital Volunteers (SHV) once again did their Christmas gift-giving at the pediatric ward of the Ospital ng Palawan (ONP) on December 21, 2019.
It was done in partnership with Smart Communications Inc.-Palawan that tied up with e-games enthusiasts headed by Ryan Llaneta and Jollibee Rizal Avenue for the mascot and some foodstuff to cheer up the kids in the hospital while undergoing treatment.
The yearly gift-giving started five years ago when then Smart store manager Eireen Gomez signed up for a collaboration with Chit Muslad, the SHV coordinator.
When Gomez moved to assume another post, her successor and current store manager, Raymond Ian Ducado, continued to pursue the collaboration.
Together with 18 SHVs’ Muslad as coordinator, and Analyne Rollan as the Palawan Focolare Community Leader, the gift giving was graced by Ducado and his wife Mace and Smart employees. Also present were Jollibee store manager Ian and his two staff, including Jollibee, the mascot.
SHV expressed its gratitude to both the management and staff of Smart Communications through its public affairs office, Llaneta, and Jollibee for their generosity which enabled them to bring love and the spirit of Christmas to the ONP.
“It was indeed a moment of joy for the young patients at the ward together with their parents,” SHV said.
Jollibee led the giving of foodstuffs and gift packs containing toiletries including diapers, toys, biscuits, apples, ponkan, folded fan, and some reading materials.
Some items were also provided to the Ward of the Newborn Babies and even to those in the Isolation Room. The gift items were all donated by some friends, relatives and from the Sinag volunteers themselves.
Sinag is one of the social actions of the Focolare Movement, an ecclesial movement under the Roman Catholic Church. Sinag, which means ‘a ray of hope’, aims to bring sunshine, hope, and love, to Jesus in the sick, in the government hospitals. Its membership is not limited to the people of the Focolare, but is open to all those who believe in the noble cause of the project.
It was in one of the meetings of the Focolare in Tagaytay, that Norma Valencia, was struck with the experiences shared by the Sinag volunteers of Metro Manila on how they try to bring sunshine, love, and joy to the patients in the hospitals.
On the occasion of her 51st birthday, October 31, 1991, together with Muslad, they presented themselves to the chief of hospital then, Dr. Primo de Vera, informing him that they would come every Thursday noon, between 12:15 and 1:00 p.m. to do some cleaning on the hallways of the ONP.
Valencia was working then at the provincial government, while Maunlad was a civilian employee at the Western Command (WESCOM). They would meet at the entrance of the hospital every Thursday at noon.
From this simple act of love, actions were expanded to bringing trash cans for the hallways, then to visiting, talking and cheering up the patients in the wards, giving of used but usable clothes for those who need it, and many other charitable acts which we felt, Jesus in the sick, is asking us, and even until now.
Five years later, this responsibility was entrusted to Maunlad as Valencia had to attend to do other tasks since the community was already growing and new realities were coming up.
Since then, Muslad assumed the responsibility as the coordinator of the Sinag Hospital Volunteers. She is supported by the other volunteers both members and nonmembers of the Focolare.