2017 started great for me and my very first event last January was an advocacy for special children. Several other charity events followed and I was truly blessed to be part of them all. This December, one of the last activities I participated in was the Save the Children Christmas Campaign #LahatSanta. It’s a drive to help save the children affected by Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM).
It is estimated that there are 1.5 million Filipino children who go to sleep hungry every night. According to the Food and Nutrition Research Institute, one out of three children are found to be stunted due to Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM).
In their most recent report titled “Lives Cut Short,” they found that 48 percent of child deaths in the Philippines are linked to undernutrition—higher than the global average of 45 percent. The same report said kids living in food-poor households are nearly three times at higher risk of death.
“As children, we grew up believing in Santa Claus,” Head of Strategic Partnerships for Save the Children Philippines Riel Andaluz says. “We wanted to share with our fellow Filipinos the feeling of bringing joy to those who need it the most by making Christmas more meaningful through fundraising.”
Putting the FUN in fundraising, Andaluz emphasizes that with this campaign, giving back doesn’t have to feel like a sacrifice. This can be seen in the different initiatives that Save the Children’s current roster of Santas have begun to roll out;
Pass it on!
OLX Philippines has pledged their support by elevating their policy on “Reason-For-Selling” by encouraging their registered online sellers to donate a portion of their earnings to the non-profit organizations cause to fight hunger and malnutrition in the Philippines, while BPI Foundation has tapped their employees to become Santas themselves as well, as donated to the campaign via sponsorship.
Indulging in kindness
Other Santas have volunteered to host events to help raise awareness for the cause, as well, as raise funds to support the beneficiary children. Save the Children volunteer and Aldenver Marketing Events Manager Nikka Ramos has pledged her services to organize a Christmas Charity Fun Run for the campaign, set to happen on the 17th of December at the SM by the Bay at Mall of Asia. Meanwhile, craft cookie shop Scout’s Honor and Pastry Chef Miko Aspiras hosted a special get-together at Hole in the Wall PH in Century City Mall wherein guests got the chance to make their own Christmas cookies.
Drop Some Love
Apart from hosting the event, Hole in the Wall PH and Scout’s Honor have also set up Lahat Santa coin banks on all 11 concept stores, where customers can ‘drop some love’. Family Mart has also pledged to do the same in all of their branches nationwide.
Save The Children sees #LahatSanta as a head start not only to raise funds for children grappling with SAM but also to underscore why nutritional interventions should be done as soon as possible.
Since the campaign’s launch in October, Save the Children has since recruited individual volunteers as Santas. Other individuals and companies can also join in the fun while making a difference by signing up on the #LahatSanta website: http://www.lahatsanta.ph/
Proceeds from the FUNdraisers would not only allow Save the Children to help SAM-affected children in its project areas recover quickly but also to expand to other areas where health and nutrition interventions are greatly needed.
“No effort is big or small to create ripples of change,” said Andaluz. “As it is through our joint efforts that we can truly make an impact, and who knows? One day, we can be the generation to end malnutrition.”
About Save the Children
Save the Children is the world’s leading independent organization dedicated to helping children. With the generosity of their supporters, they work hard to give Filipino children access to quality education and health services, support them in times of great need, and protect them from harm.