Urban poor raise 76k for seniors

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CALOOCAN CITY, Feb. 6, 2015 – No one is too poor to share.

This was proven when jobless workers and minimum wage earners of the Christians In Action (CIA) recently raised Php 76,000 for a “shower blessing” for its 600 senior citizen members.

Christians In Action enjoy some ballroom on a Wednesday at the Office for Senior Citizens Affairs, Caloocan South City Hall. (Photo: Oliver Samson)

The fundraisers, who are children and grandchildren of the seniors, include pedicab and tricycle drivers, construction workers, and ordinary laborers, said CIA adviser Ruel Sandel.

“Sharing is not a province limited to the well-to-do people only, even those who are less in life have the capacity of giving,” said Sandel.

Bedridden winners

According to him, the fundraising, which has been organized annually for the past two years, also aimed to show the public that not only wealthy individuals and families can share their blessings.

“When the seniors learned that they surpassed the amount collected last year, all knelt, some broke to tears in joy,” Sandel said.

In 20013, when the funds raised for the CIA members amounted to Php 60, 000, the seniors vowed to quit the fundraising the following year if they could not top the previous year’s amount.

Last year, the group decided that the raffle draw winners should not come from able-bodied members in attendance.

“So the winners are the bedridden and other seniors who are not capable of joining the get-together,” Sandel explained.

To keep leadership’s motivation in the right place, CIA leaders should have received gift items, not cash, he said. This year they received cups and mugs.

Chosen through a raffle system, some 600 elderly CIA members received a cash gift of Php 100 each.

No solicitation letters

“The fundraising did not require solicitation letters,” he said. “The donors were jointly notified by CIA barangay leaders.”

The 100 leaders of the barangay seniors group in South Caloocan, on the other hand, each received a gift item worth more or less the same amount, said Sandel, who is also an officer at the Office of Senior Citizens Affairs (Osca) South Caloocan.

The 19-year-old CIA has Catholic, Protestant, and Iglesia Ni Cristo members.

Currently it has over 2, 000 active members, all residents of South Caloocan. (Oliver Samson/CBCPNews)

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