Today we brought Christmas gifts to approximately 230 Ati children in four local villages in mainland Malay, Aklan, Philippines.
The majority of gifts were necessities like shoes (everyone wears flip flops here – or slippers – as they are called), fortified milk, and vitamin-enhanced oatmeal drink packets, and more.
And since it’s Christmas, of course there were some toys for the youngest children!
I watched bewildered kids accept the gifts. Material extras are not something Ati children get often.
Early Christmas for Ati children
There are four Ati villages in mainland Malay: So’ong, Ati Village, Bakiruhan, and Carla Village. The latter three are closer together, so we simply delivered the goods and let the Ati women dole out the gifts and keep order.
We then took the rest of the goods to the So’ong village kids in Barangay (town) Cogon.
Theo’s friend Juli has land beside the village, and that private land is where this distribution took place.
We also had help from our local friends and dynamic couple JB and Pauline had clothing, toys and noodles — substantial additions to our gift pile. Their items were donated from their families.
Their oldest child – Christopher, who only just turned 5 years old – came with his dad JB to the give away.
JB and Pauline: you are wonderful people and awesome parents!
Flip flops and the food (plus cookies) went to all children, and there was more.
The rest of the items were arranged with age groups in mind.
- Choice of a toy, hat, or backpack
- Choice of crayons and a coloring book, notepad and pencils, or storage folder and pen
- Choice of soap and cloth, toothbrush and toothpaste, or a mask and sanitizer
When the children were done, the women had donated clothing to chose from, courtesy JB and Pauline.
My sister and brother-in-law helped us buy these gifts. I estimate their donation provided gifts for about 80 children.
Karen and Tony: Many Ati women thanked you today for helping the children. One grateful woman is our friend Gilda.
Theo: Thanks for not calling me crazy when I started bargain hunting back in September.
We helped around 230 kids in four villages have a good day today. And we hope 2021 is better for everyone.
If you want to feel good, then do good.
Life is now.
Merry Christmas everyone!
Thanks for reading, “Early Christmas for Ati children in Malay, Philippines.”
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- One good thing about 2020: we worked with the Ati
- Ati in mountainside Cogon village now have electricity