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|Volunteers translate Lasallian virtues into reality|
|Dec 24, 2011|
When Jeremae Mait went home one late afternoon, the scene she saw shocked her. Fire razed to the ground her family home at Homesite Subdivision in Bacolod City.
But instead of letting the tragedy overwhelm her and her family, she eventually managed to turn the situation around and make transform it into a learning opportunity.
Today, Jeremae, now a senior Education student and governor of the University of St. La Salle College of Education Student Council, looks back and says the incident has made her become more service and people-oriented.
"I experienced being on the receiving end of people's charity that since then, I always grab an opportunity to help others because if we don't, who else will help them?" she says as she recalls that she has been involved in a string of volunteer work, including one with Gawad Kalinga.
Thus, since the University started its fund-raising campaign for the flood victims in Mindanao, Jeremae and her friends at the President's Council of the USLS Student Government have been reporting everyday as volunteers, assisting the Center for External Relations in receiving donations from the community, sorting the donations and repacking them for shipment to La Salle Academy in Iligan City, which was badly hit by floods caused by Typhoon Sendong last week.
If they're not receiving the donations, they repack them and after their task, they go to the mall to appeal to holiday to help the Mindanao victims.
"It's been a tiring experience," she says, "yet it's very fulfilling," she admits as she points out the realization "that there are still people who are willing to help those in need."
Her fellow student leader and volunteer, Charlene Keith Chong shares her thoughts on volunteerism with Jeremae as she realizes "that we are fortunate and that we still have a home and family."
The three coeds are among the more than three dozens of Lasallians who have rendered volunteer work for the CER since Dec. 19 in the preparation of the goods and items to be shipped to Iligan.
Students, faculty and staff have pooled efforts to support the drive with those unable to come to the campus do their share by helping in drumming up interest in the campaign through their social networking links to generate public interest.
Volunteerism has made us grab the opportunity to give part of ourselves to others, adds Business and Accountancy Governor Hanako Apura, who with Jeremae and Charlene, have decided with their fellow members of the USG President's Council, to go to Iligan on Dec. 26 and render post-tragedy volunteer work.
With the Iligan-bound group is Maria Lourdes Eudela, a Psychology alumna who has done community organizing for the Balayan, the social outreach arm of the University, and a number of volunteer tasks in tragedy-stricken areas in the country. She has been invited by friends from Mindanao to join them in their efforts to help rebuild the lives of people in affected areas.
In my little way, I hope I can do something to help victims deal with their emotional scars brought about by the floods, she says.
CER Director Rhoderick Samonte says he is grateful to the volunteers for their help during the Bulig Mindanao campaign, adding that through their selflessness, they have translated into action the Lasallian virtues - competence, confidence, concern, commitment and being Christians.