My SOS Journey: Discovering That Love And Happiness Are Just Around The Corner
(From left to right: SOS Friend Ms. Tet Defensor, SOS coworker Katleen, and Ms. Tet's daughter Mia during a short visit to SOS Manila in 2019.)
with SOS is a happy surprise, even for myself. I never thought I could be
actively involved with any organization other than the company I work for. I
would consciously limit my activities so I can focus all my energy on my work
and my family. But somehow, SOS changed all that.
I remember my
first encounter with SOS. I was in a mall and I remember feeling very, very
happy that particular day. I cannot remember why I was in high spirits. I think
it had something to do with work. As I was basking in quiet revelry, I was
politely approached by Eric Pagkanlungan from SOS.
Since I was
such in a good mood, maybe even smiling from ear-to-ear, I probably looked very
friendly. I was all alone and was waiting for my husband, and so I decided to
listen to Eric’s short presentation. He
swiped his iPad from left to right, patiently explaining how a small donation
can go a long way.
I was in high
spirits and I did not want to stop the cheerful momentum by turning Eric
down. I agreed to sign up right there
and then. At the back of my mind, I told
myself I can always choose to discontinue my donation. All I have to do was inform my bank.
A few days
after I signed up, I received the most heart-warming email welcoming me to the
SOS family. I am sure it was a standard communication tool, but it effectively
imparted a feeling of warmth, as if I was suddenly embraced by over a hundred
children. It felt so good and inspiring.
were accompanied by calls from SOS representatives, sharing more good news. I
remember telling them that I am only donating a small amount. For some people,
the amount is just a “Starbucks budget.” I would always tell them that they do
not need to waste their time on me. But of course, the SOS team has always been
so thoughtful and accommodating.
year, I had a chance to visit the village with my daughter. The children
weren’t around, but I was amazed at the devotion of the staff and the Aunties
in creating a home for the children.
I am not a
CEO or a business owner who can simply write a donation cheque to any
institution. I am a regular worker with responsibilities. Whatever I utilize or
share comes from my hard work. But being part of a team like SOS, who works
tirelessly to provide love and attention to children, brings generosity to a
SOS is now
part of every special moment in my life. My birthday or Christmas will not be
complete if my SOS family is not part of the celebration. On days when I am
challenged by reality, I simply read the emails from SOS or play the birthday
greeting from the children. It works like a reset button that reminds me that
love and happiness are just around the corner.
SOS, for giving me a reason to smile every day.