Happy Hearts

By: Geneviéve Bisson

Last Saturday we teamed up with Volunteer in Cebu for their feeding program. Every month they gather eager volunteers, chop away and serve 1000′s of hot cooked meals for communities in need.

While they were busy preparing the food we had our hands full keeping the kids engaged and entertained. I’ve participated in their outreach efforts numerous times and I always end up straying from carrot chopping to be with the kids. Sometimes I end up in the middle of 400 kids with nothing more than a few summer camp games to keep them busy. As the saying goes: If you don’t keep kids busy, they will keep you busy! I even sported my $1.50 chicken costume that I bought to entertain the kids. However, when this happens the other volunteers are often more entertained than the kids.

The program turned out to be a fantastic win-win situation. It was so nice to see all the children gathered around the reading sessions. Every volunteer did such a great JOB making stories come to life. Afterwards, we gathered together to play some games, did a tentative story telling – yelling until magically a microphone finally appeared. Afterwards, we asked some questions to give out the many prizes volunteers generously brought. My favorite moment was when we asked the kids who could sing a part from the very popular Ed Sheeran song, Thinking Out Loud. One of the boys from the back came up, took the microphone and said: “Do you mind if I start from the beginning?” He blew us all away with his confidence and beautiful voice. The gym went suddenly quiet until everyone joined him in the chorus. At the end, we gave him a basketball. His face lit up with joy.

While the kids were eating, Joy, Man Man, Cindy and Paolo turned up the music and entertained everyone with some Zumba. Many of the volunteers joined and everyone had a great time. Yes, the chicken costume even made a dancing appearance!

All in all, it was a great day. It was exhausting, but seeing the kids have happy hearts and full bellies makes it all worth it!

Thank you Volunteer and Cebu for the invitation. We certainly look forward to future collaborations!