Street mom and son get their Christmas gift
MANILA, Philippines—Evelyn Tedranes, who has been living for almost three decades on the streets since she was 12, had lost her two children– one was stolen while she was asleep and the other was given up for adoption.
Now 41-year old Evelyn promises not to lose her third child as she tries her best to make ends meet and raise him despite so many difficulties.
She hopes that someday, her 7-year-old son would fulfil his dream to become an engineer.
Evelyn and her son were among the 180 street families—composed of 330 adults and children— under the care of St. Luke Reach Out Foundation in Paco, Manila, who received Christmas presents from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) on the 23rd day of the “Pamaskong Handog ng Pagcor 2011: 25 Days of Christmas, 25 Years of Pagcor” nationwide gift-giving project.
The St. Luke Reach Out Foundation has been helping Evelyn and her son since the institution was established eight years ago by Dutch priest Fr. Luke Moortgat and the late businessman and philanthropist Eduardo Garcia.
The wards of the foundation benefit from weekly feeding programs, medical missions and catechism at the Paco Church grounds in Manila, and are also allowed to take a bath and wash their clothes in the church grounds.
During the gift-giving activity, Pagcor distributed gift packs of groceries and personal items to all the beneficiaries.
The state-own gaming firm also donated to the institution 20 sewing machines, one DVD player, a complete sound system consisting of one audio mixer, one compressor and limiter, one power amplifier, four system speakers with stands, one equalizer, one rack with roller caster and two microphones.
Through Pagcor’s assistance, Fr. Moortgat said the foundation would be able to provide a more sustainable source of livelihood for Evelyn and the rest of the homeless and needy families who rely on the institution’s help.
“Nagpapasalamat ako sa Diyos na nandiyan ang foundation para sa amin para kumalinga. Napakalaking bagay po nitong foundation sa amin. Kaya po malaki rin ang pasasalamat ko sa Pagcor sa tulong nila at hindi po nila nakakalimutan tulungan ang talagang mga nangaingailangan. Kahit papaano po, magiging masaya ang Pasko,” Evelyn said.
She said she and her son now have something good to look forward to in the coming year.
“Makakatulong po ang mga makina na bigay ng Pagcor para makapaghanap-buhay kami at magkaroon ng pagkakakitaan. Matustusan ko na po sa wakas ang pag-aaral ng anak ko. Magsisikap po ako para makapagtapos siya at maabot ang kanyang pangarap,” Evelyn added.
Fr. Moortgat, director of the foundation, also expressed his appreciation for Pagcor’s gifts which he said were exactly what the foundation needs as they expand their work and reach out to the less fortunate.
Among the foundation’s main goals, he said, is to provide Manila’s street families with skills training and livelihood programs.
“These people are not only poor, but they are at the bottom of society. They are the first ones who really need to be helped. The sewing machines are indeed a great help to our impoverished brothers and sisters so we can help them start their own livelihood. The sound system, the microphones, will help us reach out to more people in need,” Fr. Moortgat said.
Pagcor Assistant Vice President for Corporate Communications, Maricar Bautista said the Pamaskong Handog 2011 is just one of the agency’s means to stay true to its commitment to be the government’s partner in nation building.
“To build a nation, you must aid and provide support to those who are really in need. Pagcor’s Pamaskong Handog is not only a way of sharing our blessings this Christmas season but also a way of responding to our corporation’s mandate of helping build the nation,” Bautista said.
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