SLEIGH 2019: Bringing Joy to an Aeta Community
by William Galvez & Atty. Lara Nicole Gonzales
Once again, fellows and volunteers of Universitas were able to touch the lives of a community in need through the Foundation’s annual Christmas Outreach, SLEIGH (Sharing Love to Every Indigent through Gifts and Happenings), held last December 15, 2019.
The participating V fellows and volunteers took a day off from their usual routines to visit Sitio Target, Barangay Sapangbato in Angeles City. The Sitio, less than three hours of travel away from Manila, is home to a community of Aetas.
Upon their arrival, the fellows and volunteers were given a warm and jovial welcome by the locals, and were surprised at the beauty of the natural scenery under the care of the Aeta community.
The team prepared a program packed with games and goodies, as well as knowledge about the meaning of Christmas as taught by the Catechism of the Church, all of which they shared with the locals of Sitio Target.
Johemie Quiñones, a volunteer for Universitas, hosted the program. The event commenced with an opening prayer, and an introduction to the participants about the Universitas Foundation and the Christmas Outreach.
Ice breakers then followed to kindle the festive atmosphere among the fellows and the locals. Popular parlor games like Hep hep hooray and Limbo rock, and exhilarating rounds of touch ball sparked smiles and laughter among children and adults alike. Everyone, male or female, young or old, actively participated, filling the event with excitement.
Of course, the event did not end without the true meaning of Christmas getting its proper focus. Not only did the fellows and volunteers share gifts to aid the local residents in their material needs, but also in their spiritual needs – by teaching Catechism to the residents, particularly on the topic of Christmas.
The parents and children were divided into separate groups so as to ensure that each is served in a way that is suited to their particular status in life. Practical points were shared to both adults and children, thus, helping them to concretely live out the subject matter of the Catechism in their lives.
As the fun-filled morning came to an end, the team shared Noche Buena baskets and Jollibee meals to each family.
Faithful to its goal, SLEIGH 2019 had brought forth love and happiness. The smiles on the participants’ faces were priceless. At the same time, the members of the organizing team were filled with genuine gladness, making them realize and value the spirit of Christmas more. Truly, the beneficiaries of the outreach were not solely the residents Sitio Target, but also the fellows and volunteers who had the privilege of spending time with the community and sharing with them a bit of themselves. – universitas.ph
NOTA BENE: The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author, and the speakers mentioned in the article, and not necessarily to the Foundation.
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