Manila, Philippines, April 27, 2020—In this time of Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), some of us might have already felt the urge to think of ways we can lend a helping hand. When the opportunity to provide assistance have come knocking on the doors of some ordinary, everyday women like Marielle Solomon, Sarah Jane de la Rosa, Pia Alviola, Melissa Olit, and Angela Lapinosa, they embraced the chance to help and made things happen! They have been voluntarily and wholeheartedly taking on tasks of providing food, of sourcing for relief goods, of creating PPEs, and mobilizing resources for Filipinos in COVID-harm’s way. They didn’t think twice to go out of their comfort zones to share a part of themselves and be a light to others.
Marielle Solomon is a marketing professional who currently spends most of her time around volunteers like herself in Siargao Community Kitchen to ease the plight of families in the island whose source of income have been affected by COVID-19. At present, they have provided over 4,000 food packs, staying true to the belief that community starts with sharing. Through her efforts, Marielle is just one of the women who bring the light to the island of Siargao.
Student Sarah Jane de la Rosa’s light has truly radiated throughout the Metro. She has proven that being a differently abled person is not and will never be a hindrance if you put your heart in the service of a solid cause. A volunteer at the Barangay Holy Spirit Person with Disabilities Association, Sarah who is afflicted with cerebral palsy, ably leads her team as their President in providing relief packages in the area. As of today, the association has provided much needed help to more than 1,000 PWD’s and their families.
Project Love PPE and Masks has produced and donated over 1,500 masks and 600 PPEs in various hospitals. This initiative is the brainchild of Pia Alviola, a Fashion Designer based in Makati City, who has found a way to bring the light among our healthcare front liners the best way she knows how, through her skills, and her desire to not only provide a source of income for her team of seamstresses and tailors, but also to be an instrument of providing protection in these times.
In Puerto Princesa, Melissa Olit, the founder of Chef Aiza’s Community has seen to it that her community in Palawan is given the proper nutrition and sustenance they need. From front liners to students, and even to hard working construction workers stranded on the island, Melissa has made sure the food she prepares, and delivers are sourced from local farmers to sustain their livelihood. Over the course of bringing light to front liners and local farmers, her group has already served more than 5,000 food packs.
Through a drive called RICEaboveCOVID, Angela Lapinosa, one of the lead organizers of the initiative, has illuminated the city of Cebu with her generosity and service. At the Cebu Institute of Technology, Angela is known as a student leader. But for the two hundred beneficiaries of the cause she represents, Angela is one to remember only with the kindest of words. The young ones also acknowledge her as someone who has shed light into their lives and has given them hope for being the project manager of “Para Kay Baby”, a project under RICEaboveCOVID that has allocated 100 relief goods to the families of infants and children in her town.
These five extraordinary women have truly become light bearers in their communities for serving as volunteers who through their service and heart, have greatly contributed to the common good. Like these women, SkinWhite has always believed that anyone can #BeTheLight especially in times of uncertainty. Every effort no matter how small, can have a considerable amount of good especially to those who are in need. Let us continue inspiring and encouraging these women by supporting their causes, as we too can be the light in our own ways.
Here are ways to reach Marielle, Sarah, Pia, Melissa and Angela as we make these challenging times lighter!
Barangay Holy Spirit Person with Disabilities Association – Sarah de la Rosa
Project Love PPE and Masks – Pia Alviola
RICEaboveCOVID – Cebuano Youth Ambassadors, Inc. Lapinosa