The Filipino American Association of the Santa Clarita Valley and the city of Santa Clarita collected school supplies to send to children in the Philippines Saturday.
The event, which featured approximately 15 volunteers, saw dozens of backpacks, t-shirts and pencil boxes, as well as thousands of pens, pencils, and other school supplies be packed into boxes and ready to be shipped overseas.
“This year, the FIl-Am launched this project called ‘Children Are Our Future,’” said Jocelyn Reyes, the president of Fil-Am. “And we started collecting school supplies from different people from just sending out the word … we’ve been busy collecting the items and today we’re packing them.”
The supplies will be to two schools in the Philippines, Maggalang Tulo-tulo and Morong Elementary schools in the city of Sariaya, according to Reyes.
“I feel that some of the schools in the Philippines are not as privileged as we are here,” said Reyes. “They don’t have enough resources and the budget is really tight. The even have schools that don’t have chairs or desks to sit on, so they bring their own.”
Tess Simgen, board president for the SCV Sister Cities program, said the city of Santa Clarita has gone on medical missions or sent aid to two sister cities, one in Ecuador and the other in Philippines, and has been doing so for over a decade.
“Education is one of the focuses of the municipal government in Sariaya,” said Simgen. “So we’re helping them do this because two or three years ago we built a classroom over there and education is still one of their main focuses.”
Reyes, who was wearing a hat during the event that read “Spread the Love,” said all those packing and present were working on a volunteer basis. City Councilman Bill Miranda arrived and also lent a helping hand.
“If we can make a difference one school at a time, it’ll be great to do that,” Reyes added. “We can’t save them all at one time, but in the future, if we get enough funding, we would want to build a classroom.”
Fil-Am, according to Reyes, is still collecting donations and are willing to come and pick up whatever supplies are being given.
For more information on how to contact Fil-Am of the Santa Clarita Valley, visit their website at filamofscv.org.