Inside: On my 60th, I wanted to celebrate with some special people, including you! Join me and tap into your hearts real joy in learning how to share your blessings.
A month before, I was counting the weeks and days till my special event. I was getting excited each day and with mixed emotions actually, sometimes I felt like I cannot put into action any of my plans. Most nights, I slept late challenging myself to come up with the best plan.
I just know I have to celebrate this very significant milestone in my life.
Don’t get me wrong. I was not into grand feasts in some posh hotel, dolled up in an elegant gown, and listening to sentimental speeches.
Doing something really important and valuable is more of my thing.
I started to communicate with some family members asking them if they could help.
How did I come up with my three plans?
Deep in my heart, I’ve always known sharing with children with special needs is on top of my list.
This website is all about them. Of course, you know if you have been my follower.
With brainstorming, these choices came up:
1. Write emails or private messages to some family and friends and previous donors, or advertise in my Facebook page, and for a certain amount that they give as a gift ( for our mini-therapy area project ), they will receive a couple of face masks ( made my some family members or store-bought ) and/or handy antiseptics. Very timely for the season of the pandemic, right?
2. Activate the Go fund Me page, which I started three years prior, also on my birthday. Write the latest update post about the project and hopefully, previous supporters would show up again to help. And some new donors will come up.
3. Make a virtual mini-concert ( also a repeat, like three years prior ) with my nephews and nieces, whom I call ” Tita Pangga’s angels. ” This won! With some challenges along the way, we eventually pulled it through.
I ended up using number 2 as well.
Why are special kids so close to my heart?
I have a sister who had Down syndrome but passed away a few years back and left a hole in our hearts. Another special brother is still with us. Two of my nephews have Down syndrome ( one of them has Autism, as well ) and a niece has Cornelia de Lange syndrome.
We are indeed a special needs family!
Every day, amidst the struggles in taking care of them, our family ( especially my sisters’ immediate families ) finds so much joy in being with them.
If you are special needs parents, you somehow experience these struggles from potty training, to health co-morbidities, to running and catching them in crowded places, but their innocence and little accomplishments warm your hearts every time.
With the passing of my sister Pangga at the age of 46, our family started the legacy to give support to the children with special needs with the Special Education program in the Romblon East Central School in Romblon, Philippines, where Pangga and all of us siblings grew up.
It was just second nature for our family to help these special kids knowing fully well that the Special Education program is so vital in their growth and development.
Come celebrate with me!
Please share my joy and enthusiasm on this momentous day of my life.
The actual event has gone by a couple of weeks ago, but life got in the way and I was not able to write this post sooner.
I would like to share with you all how I feel. What better way to make my important milestone significant than to offer this special day and the monetary gifts and donation for completion of the indoor mini-therapy area that we have started three years ago.
Watch this birthday fundraising video, enjoy the music, and I will walk you to how and when we started this project, how it looks now and the final plans to finish once and for all, so our special kids can eventually play safely and develop their fine and gross motor skills, as well as their social skills.
By the way, I had the most intimate dinner at home with close family on my 60th birthday. My husband and kids planned and did everything from blowing the balloons to cooking the food, to cleaning up the after-mess, that I felt so loved and extra-special.
Early that morning, my spouse handed me a big bouquet and a book that I love, followed by big hugs from him and the kids. My daughter also bought a special give-away for my guests.
Some previously invited guests were not able to make it because of the COVID-19 precautions, but with few loved ones around, we still enjoyed with lots of laughter, full tummies, and memorable stories.
Let me now share with you our present project, for which I offer my birthday fundraising. I hope you can all share your blessings for this worthwhile endeavor.
The progress of the mini-therapy area
Until now, I am so thrilled knowing that from a vacant lot behind the resource room, with no money to start with, and just with pure donations from family and friends, in three years’ time, we have slowly built something really useful for the special kids.
The work was intermittent, based on available finances that came from our donors and when our teachers were not so busy to supervise the carpenters, nevertheless, it evolved and made us proud of our accomplishments.
Our SPED teachers are so passionate about teaching our special kids that, aside from their classroom teaching, which sometimes could be one on one, they also had to attend various seminars outside of the province to grow their craft.
Plus school activities, outside of academics, like some holiday celebrations with a showcase of their students’ artistic capabilities. Preparing their special students for these would entail some sacrifices and lots of patience!
Imagine a student with a learning disability who keeps on forgetting his lines in a chorus, but still sings his heart out with different lyrics in group singing.
Or a student with Down syndrome who is so excited of their performance that he adds his own rendition of the group dance? I know this would come up as funny for the audience, but for the SPED teacher, this could be so challenging.
Finally, the indoor mini-therapy area was painted early this year, but we still have some parts that need final work, like the sensory path, some wall play structures, wooden chairs, and the rubberized flooring.
Thus, we still need your help.
I assure you, pure, deep joy is such bliss when you share your blessings, especially knowing that you are a part of this big project for some special kids.
Click here to donate.
We also have other plans for the kids after we’re done with this project. Most of the kids’ families can barely afford to go for an assessment of their condition, thus Pangga ta Ikaw would like to sponsor them in the future. Your support will really go a long way.
Through the years, we did other fundraising efforts:
With a lot of intense thinking on my part and a million texts and messages between the teachers and I, plus tapping donors by distributing letters/invitations, posting to social media, and looking for volunteers, these efforts were all big hits.
1. Go fund Me ( October 2017 ) – as mentioned above, we launched this on my birthday three years ago. It initiated the building of the project when after 3 months, we collected a substantial amount to buy the materials and start the foundation. The donors really pumped me to continue with the project.
2. Mini-piano concert at home ( January 2017 )– done to remember Pangga on her birthday and to celebrate her love of music! Despite not being formally educated, she was able to memorize songs, although with funny twists. The close family was in attendance to give support for this.
3. Bingo Social ( January 2018 ) – local fundraising at the Romblon East Central School, which was done at the start of the town’s big fiesta celebration. It brought lots of excitement and screams from the crowd and supporters when their numbers were called. Everyone anticipated that they will win.
Related post: Indoor Play Area ( Where Kids will Romp and Laugh )
4. The Christmas Story ( December 2018 ) – showcased the talent of the special kids when they did a ” nativity play, ” plus some songs, modeling, and dance numbers.
Our hearts burst with pride as we watched them portray the birth of Jesus and poured their hearts out with their talent. They in turn were so confident and happy.
We likewise prepared a ” Silent Auction,” which brought lots of enthusiasm, fast heart beating, and ooh’s and aah’s in the audience.
Related post: The Christmas Show- Our Special Kids in Action!
The last two were done when I was visiting my family. They took a lot of my days supposedly spent with them, but the fulfillment that came with these activities were all worth it! The events were only one day but the preparation took a long while.
The SPED teachers also spearheaded asking for other donations from the local government and the RECS which included building the comfort room, some play structures, soil, to name a few.
This year because my birthday is a milestone, I promised myself to celebrate extra-special!
Not through a feast but in a meaningful way.
That is, to continue to inspire others to GIVE and SHARE their blessings to the children with special needs.
Thank you to my families who have given their full support.
I know because of the pandemic, we are all quite stressed, maybe financially drained, but let us just be open and hopeful that ALL these will pass, and if only we help each other, everything will turn out POSITIVE.
I am happy and fulfilled that I have started to devote a special part of me to these kids.
But I can’t do this alone. Your help is a big boost to this endeavor.
I know I can count on you, LET’S DO THIS!
Please visit my Go Fund Me page here.
Finally, let’s reflect on this.
“God’s given you the ability to honor him, to serve others, to make a living, to be an example, to have money to pass on to others.” And I’ve learned from personal experience that the more generous you are, the more God blesses your life. Rick Warren
This is so true!
Are you seeing my big smile? I am so elated I came up with the best plan and you are a part of it.