I help without expecting something in return--a volunteer says

“I think this is my calling, this is my commitment, I am happy being in service of other people especially to our elderly persons. I help without expecting something in return for this came from the heart.”

This is how Aling Remedios or Emie as she prefers to be called by her peers started our interview. I was stunned and amazed in her statements for I barely hear words such like those. It really came from within, sincerity and genuineness really transpires in her face as she does her routine activity with one of her clients.

Remedios Espano, 44 years old with 4 children is an active volunteer for the Community-Based Home Care Program for Older Persons in Iriga, Solana, Cagayan, a pilot area in Region II. The Community-Based Home Care Program accurately addresses the physical and psychological needs of the older persons and persons with disabilities who are in need of care and attention. As a result of the said program, older persons and persons with disabilities are well taken care of and thus, they felt loved and respected. Despite their situations, they turned out to be lively and happy and have a feeling of belongingness since they are not detached from the community and families around them. The said program helped those beneficiaries especially the older persons with the help of the volunteers considering that most of the young generations are leaving the community to seek for better opportunities.

While many people have multiple interests and varied talents, Aling Emie preferred to share her time, skills and capacity in care giving for the older persons in her barangay. She narrated that in year 2000, she started in the volunteer service with five clients which she religiously attended their needs everyday.

When I asked her what motivated her to continue her chosen vocation, she smiled and said, volunteering changed how I view life positively just as I hope volunteering will be manifested in everybody’s heart. In my everyday visit to my clients, I have learned something new, I have gained a meaningful experience, I have developed a person-to person connections with my clients which will forever live on in my heart.

Anybody will be awed with the dedication and commitment shown by Aling Emie. The willingness and enthusiasm she possessed in helping other people despite her own status in life does not hinder her to continue in her passion---helping without expecting something in return.

At present, Aling Emie attends to the needs of Lola Victoria Singson, 69 years old who live with her husband Lolo Pacifico, 74 years old. The old couple has no children, thus, it is really hard for Lolo Pacifico attending to all the needs of Lola Victoria. Their source of income is purely from farming wherein Lolo Pacifico still manages to augment their daily needs including the medicines of Lola Victoria. In 2009, Lola Victoria cannot able to walk; she cannot able to perform even in attending her hygienic activities due to her swollen legs and arms.

However, despite her daily chores as mother to four children, Aling Emie still manages to devote her time visiting Lola Victoria. She even cooks food for her whenever Lolo Pacifico is not around. Undoubtedly, she treats Lola Victoria as extended member of her family. With her untiring effort to take care for Lola Victoria, happiness filled her heart as she witnessed Lola Victoria walks. Aling Emie further discloses that she cares for her clients. She values the bonds that exist between them.

As I talk to Aling Emie, I suddenly realized one thing---I find that everyone needs love, everyone can give love and that love is what everyone wants. Undoubtedly, Aling Emie’s good deeds enable me to learn an important lesson---making someone happy makes you happy and they go on and make others happy and it goes on like a chain. Indeed, I salute this woman.

As we parted ways, Aling Emie left me a very empowering message to those who have heart to render volunteer works. “I guarantee anyone who will volunteer will feel better not just physically but emotionally and psychologically. It is not about who you are or what you do, all I know is that when you render volunteer works, a smile will shine and embed in your face, the hours and time we share to our elderly or to anyone else who need our service are worth enough than any money we able to receive,” Aling Emie emphasized.

Aling Emie is one of the volunteers or group of individuals who contribute time, service and resources for a "not-for-profit" cause, in the belief that the assistance rendered would be beneficial to others and satisfy personal need to help.### (By: ANGELY M. LUBO, DSWD Regional Information Officer)