Christmas is primarily for the kids! We come together to make 250 children of the Community of St John smile every year since 2011.
It all started with a simple dialogue: “What can I do for you sisters?” answered with “We have many faithful children in our care. It will be wonderful if we can organize something for them.” And thus, Project Smile was born eleven years ago.
The first event was held on Dec 3, 2011 with a hundred children aged 5 to 12 from underprivileged barrios and P100 budget for each child. The gifts and snacks were simple, but that day was a remarkable encounter between the volunteers and the kids. Through the years, we have reached out to more kindhearted benefactors to include more kids in this half-day event of prayer, games, singing and dancing. We are now able to welcome 250 kids since 2016 with a P500 target-budget for each child so as to provide sturdy school items and hearty snacks. Each year’s total donation fluctuates, yet we were able to reach this target in 2016, 2017 & almost in 2020.
With God’s Providence, we will keep at least the same number of kids this year, hoping to raise enough funds albeit the continuing financial difficulties that the COVID situation brings. Similar to 2020, we will divide the event in two weekends & the kids to 4 batches. They will be safely gathered for the Holy Eucharist and then the presents will be directly given with only a handful of volunteers to assist.