7 Cost-Efficient Outreach Ideas
By: Chris Antonio and Nica Jaucian
Christmas is the time for sharing our blessings with others. However, all the spending for Christmas gifts must have taken a great toll on our wallets. How can we give to the needy, at the time of the year when we are at our lowest budgets?
But then, outreaches don’t have to be all that expensive. We definitely can make a BIG difference with a SMALL budget. Here are 7 ideas on how to give back in this season of giving (with minimal cost).
1.) Share your Leftovers.
Tis the season for family reunions, Christmas parties, and barkada bondings and we all know what that means—food and a lot of it. More often than not, there would be mounds of lechon, chicken, pasta, macaroni salad, and ham leftover. Hence, instead of letting the food go to waste or allowing it to add extra pounds to your weight, why not use it to feed the hungry?
How? Set aside extra food and package the clean leftovers in tupperwares or styrofoam containers. Bike or drive around city and hand out these meals to the hungry and the homeless.
Approximate cost? P150-P200 for packaging and utensils
2.) Sing Karaoke with Lolos and Lolas.
Who doesn’t love hanging out with totally cool grandparents. There are numerous homes for the elderly around the Metro where you can volunteer your time in, such as the Anawim Lay Missions Foundation (ALMS). Though, what’s better than spending time with them? Singing your heart out to the hits of yesteryears. They’re not about to judge you when you go slightly – or not so slightly – off key. Who doesn’t want to see lolos and lolas dancing and jamming out to the hits of their youth?
How? Go online and research any foundation/home for the elderly. They’re more than willing to take in volunteers for their cause. Next, just bring out that handy Magic Sing or Karaoke Machine that every household must have (admit it, you have one too). It won’t really cost anything but your time to spread the cheerfulness!
Approximate Cost? Barely anything.
3.) Organize a Mini Concert.
Every young girl idolizes Disney princesses, such as Elsa and Rapunzel. Hearing their favorite princesses sing live and meeting them in person would be a dream come true for these kids. Infuse some brightness in the lives of children who have experienced trauma and abuse in the past. Now, go and be the change they wish to see.
How? Find people from Blue Rep or ENTABLADO who are willing to sing for the children. Rent costumes for them and prepare a script and song list. Contact an area such as ECPAT (9208151) or Tahanan Sta. Luisa (931 9853) to arrange a day to visit.
Approximate cost? P500 to rent a costume
4.) Go Caroling with Kids.
With the Christmas season comes the season of cheer and singing. Who doesn’t have a favorite Christmas song that you sing repeatedly, or at least hear over and over again during the Holidays? Might as well put your skills to the test and go caroling around your area. It thought of it might be embarrassing or even nerve-wracking, but gathering a few friends, or even adding a beneficiary to your cause could help alleviate the stress. You would not only be spreading merriment around, but you would also be helping those in need with the project!
How? Coordinate with any local associations/governing bodies such as the Barangay, or even village offices. They’ll be more than happy to have carolers going around their area. Call some friends over to help, or even contact some local charities to work to be your beneficiaries. Most of their members would even volunteer for even more carolers.
Approximate Cost? Basically nothing. Not unless you want to have grand arrangements and costumes.
5.) Clean up your Room.
You’d be surprised with the amount of old clothes, stuffed toys, and random knick-knacks in your room that you don’t need. Instead of letting it take up valuable room space, why not give these items to people who use actually use them. Better someone else wear that jacket you tried on only once than letting it gather dust in the back of your closet.
How? Set a day to clean up your room and collect the items you will no longer use. Put these items in a balikbayan box. Call Caritas (563-9311) to schedule a pick up date. They will take care of distributing your goods to those in need.
Approximate cost? Nothing.
6.) Make Some DIY Christmas Decorations with Kids.
Spread the holiday cheer by making some DIY Christmas decorations! Teach children in a local community or orphanage to build their own parol, make some intricate snowflakes, or even their own mini Christmas tree using things you can find at home (e.g. old newspapers, markers, crayons). Aside from bonding with them and getting their creative juices flowing, you’d get to spread the Christmas vibes with all the cute decor!
How? Go online and check for some instructional videos! A lot are available on youtube, and other similar video streaming websites. Get your materials from the nearest book store. Then, collaborate with any public school or orphanage to arrange “art day” for the kids.
Approximate cost? A few hundred pesos depending on what you want to make!
7.) Adopt an Orphan for a Day.
Timezone. Playgrounds. Swimming. These are some fun activities that make one’s childhood memorable. However, several orphans, unfortunately, have yet to experience these. By adopting a child for a day and planning an enjoyable activities for him, you can contribute in giving an orphan the childhood he deserves!
How? Contact an orphanage such as Concordia (354-6049) or CRIBS (681-592/681-8078) to arrange how many children you will be taking on a day trip and what time you will pick them up. Take them to the park, Timezone, the swimming pool in your village, or any other fun place!
Approximate cost? P200-P500 for food, a Timezone card, and pool fees
Nica and Chris are both second year Health Sciences majors and active members of the Ateneo sector-based organization, Tugon. Ever since they were young, Nica and Chris have enjoyed planning and attending outreaches. In fact, Nica was one of the founders of an organization called “Step it Up” (a charity whose purpose is to distribute slippers in rural areas) and Chris is part of an outreach group. Aside from outreaches, they enjoy traveling, playing sports, and watching movies.