My wife and I sometimes do something whenever we have a special occasion like a birthday or an anniversary. We would go around the metropolis and look for a beggar and then we go through the drive thru of any fast food chain and buy a meal for two people. We then go back to the beggar and give him or her the food we bought. We called these giving sprees “Chicken Runs” because we usually buy two piece chicken meals and extra rice.
One time, we did this one Good Friday afternoon and we saw a man on a wheelchair struggling through the hot, summer day, pushing himself along the long, dusty road. We thought it would be a great time to do a Chicken Run, forgetting the abstinence part of the Holy Day. So we rushed to the nearest fast food chain and got ourselves the chicken. We then chased after the man in the wheelchair (he was very fast for a guy in a wheelchair).
I rolled the window down and called “Manong, manong, chicken po!”
He looked at us in bewilderment, probably wondering what the heck were we doing. When I showed him the bag of take-out, it dawned on him and the man tried to refuse. We egged him on and eventually, a security guard also joined in on the chorus. Reluctantly, he accepted, scratching his head. Then when he saw what was inside the bag, a smile lit up on his face and his face became the picture of so much gratitude. We did not give him tira-tira. We did not give him leftovers. What we gave him was a solid meal and not just what we could not eat. With tears in his eyes, he never stopped thanking us as he waved and drove away.
While driving down the road, my wife and I found ourselves crying too. We did not know why, since we have been doing this for some time already but this was the first time that we felt like we did something special. Gratitude, real, genuine gratitude is an overwhelming gift to receive.
However, a part of me felt something missing. That meal, though enormously important, would be gone in less than an hour, and it would only sustain that man through the day. We did not know what would happen to him the next day, or the next week, or the next month.
A part me knew that more needed to be done and by joining the Foundation, I knew that we would be doing something more. We would not just be giving out food to people and giving them hope for the day, we are giving them the means to live.
Once I saw a commercial, and in that commercial, it asked if there was a difference between survival and living. I would like to think there is a difference between the two. Join us now and make that difference real.
Andrei Carada is a writer, blogger and dreamer. He dreams of a better Philippines.
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