Sharing your birthday with others: the Elsie Gaches community
By John Santeo Tamayo
While many young girls reaching 18 look forward to a gala celebration of their ‘debut’ into social life, Shane Uy in the spirit of thanksgiving, shared her birthday with the children of Elsie Gaches Village, working with Zonta, one of Enderun’s social development organizations.
Young Shane took inspiration from her older sister Sharmaine, when their family conducted a medical mission and gave out relief goods during her ate’s 18th birthday.
With the guidance of Zonta moderator Ms Marissa Felix, Shane selected Elsie Gaches Village (EGV), a refuge for adults and children with special needs, located along Zapote Road, Alabang, Muntinlupa City. Through their Facebook page, the Enderun Student Government helped disseminated her open invitation for all Enderun students to join this ‘Youth Project.’ Her idea was to join hands with fellow students in sharing the Christmas spirit of love and joy with the less privileged.
Sunday, December 4, 2016, Shane and her family joined the Sisters of Charity of St. Anne, the congregation assisting the community, in an ecumenical prayer to thank the Divine Providence for the gift of life. Afterwards, the students organized themselves in groups, and distributed the gifts to the people and children in different cottages.
The mascots of Jollibee and friends, more popularly known as the Jollitown gang, accompanied her in visiting each of the cottages and giving out the gifts to the Elsie Gaches community, supplemented by the portable speaker playing the Jollitown theme song.
Nor was this only a one-way giving. The kids and adults reciprocated Shane’s and the students’ kind and generous gesture by preparing some surprises for her. There was a dance to the tune of Michael Jackson’s Thriller and the traditional singing of Happy Birthday to Shane, the debutante.
Afterwards, everyone had simple lunch at the center, a totally different world from the usual student lunch at McKinley Hill. Afer, Enderun students engaged in a friendly football match with the Elsie Gaches community.
“I’m really gratified to see how the Enderun students share their time, talent and treasure with others who have much less this Christmas!” Jung Hyun Lee, a Korean student, hopes to participate in more outreach activities like this one.
The success of this simple event, a birthday with others, can be read plainly in the bright eyes and smiles of the Elsie Gaches community!