By: Ricca Sy
While COVID-19 sweeps through 2020 like a whirlwind, I’ve been stuck at home watching Friends, destroying my kitchen with my cooking and baking escapades, learning illustrator and photoshop online, and failing to land an internship several times. I felt like I was just running around in circles in hopes of accomplishing something in 2020. I was slowly losing hope, but I was still determined to keep on trying.
I felt like I was getting more unproductive each day, but I tried to keep myself busy by learning new skills online. One day while I was showing my friend some vector art I made in illustrator, she asked me why I got into this all of a sudden, to which I replied, “I’m bored.” Who knew that those two words would bring me the opportunity to help others in need alongside amazingly talented people from different universities across Metro Manila.
My exploration of graphic design work led me to volunteer for Food 4 Cycles, an online fundraising bazaar that helps boost local food businesses. Food 4 Cycles was organized for the benefit of Life Cycles PH, an organization that pairs institutions in need with generous bike donors to provide easy transportation for frontliners. The organization partnered with Makesense PH’s Re_action programs, which were developed as a response to how the pandemic affects people and their livelihoods. The program encourages and mobilizes volunteers to work with different advocacy programs, to engage them with the knowhows of working with an NGO company, as well as inspire them to support others during these difficult times.
From September 21- 26, Food 4 Cycles launched their online bazaar, with the support of media and business partners, over a hundred ambassadors and talented student volunteers. We all worked together and took the whisk to make this project a big success. It was a week full of exciting raffles, fun interactive posts and a lot of deliciously good food.
As of today, Life Cycles PH was able to provide 985 bikes to several partner hospitals and institutions. They also earned a total estimate of 3 million pesos from generous donations, and organized 360 lender-frontliner matches as well. The proceeds from Food 4 Cycles will be donated to hospitals and institutions like St. Luke’s Medical Center – Global City, Philippine General Hospital, and the Lung Center of the Philippines. Together, Food 4 Cycles and Life Cycles PH are hauling in enough support from the community to provide frontliners and essential workers the necessities they need to get where they need to be via bike-sharing.
While working for this fundraising bazaar, I’ve met so many amazingly talented people who have worked so hard for this project to become a success. One of these people is our amazing supermobilizer Danielle Teo. She was the glue that held the team together, the leader who was there for us no matter what, and our personal cheerleader who kept cheering us on. When asked about her experience as a supermobilizer, Danielle answered: “Being a supermobilizer is fun! It’s my first-time being part of a fundraiser bazaar and creating something almost from scratch with everyone else! My job as a supermobilizer is to just cheer you guys on, but as I was already comms head before, I became a supermobilizer. I just continued with both roles. It’s been great working with everyone, and seeing how Food 4 Cycles grows with everyone’s input. We knew that this was going to directly impact people so everything is a little bit more worth it in my opinion!”
There’s really no better feeling than being able to give back to the people who have risked everything for the safety of others. Being part of this little family gave me the opportunity to experience what it’s like to be a person for others. I had the best time being a volunteer, and I could say for sure that this has been one of my biggest accomplishments in 2020 so far!