Today, my five-year-old son, Nathan, and I volunteered for the Real Life Feeding Program of the Real Life Foundation. Every Saturday, the Real Life Foundation invites volunteers to assist in a medical mission slash feeding program for over 150 malnourished children of Pasig City. For only PHP250/adult (PHP100/child if you’d like to bring a child under the age of 12), you pay for the medical checkups and nutritious meal of 10 children for that day. (You also get a free shirt, but that’s icing on the cake.)
I wanted to take Nathan along because I felt it would be an eye-opening experience for him to see the situation of other children less fortunate than he. He was a real trooper. We were assigned to the ‘entertainment area,’ which basically ran groups of ten kids per group through a series of short games designed to keep them occupied while their dining tables were being prepared. Nathan helped in the games, holding the hands of kids and jumping them through the ‘tubig-lupa’ (water-land) game, as well as the ‘hep-hep hooray!’ game.
When the time came for him to assist in the feeding, Nathan really stepped to the plate, so to speak. He helped first by handing over utensils and napkins to each child while I distributed bowls of vitamin-enriched porridge. He then passed out glasses of water. After they were done with their meal, he gave them plates of chocolate cake, cleaning up their meal plates before placing the chocolate cakes down before them. After they were finished with that, he helped me clear up the tables.
(I have no photos of these activities because I was working with Nathan, obviously, but there were photographers about, and I’ll post a few up after I secure their permission.)
Fewer things in my son’s life have made me prouder. It is one of my biggest hopes that Nathan grows up to be a world-changer, and for that to happen, I’d love for him to have an awareness of life’s stark realities and the awesome opportunities God has provided him by putting him where he is, with his unique sets of talents and personality. Today, I hope a seed has been planted; in the weeks to come, I hope to help water it so that it may grow.
“Point your kids in the right direction â€” when they’re old they won’t be lost.”- Prov 22:6 (The Message)
Note: If you’d like to participate on a Saturday at the Real Life Feeding Program, please call 8171212 and ask to be connected to Sony Dela Calzada.