Giving has always been a central part of the MWSS corporate culture and tradition. The specter of COVID-19 made it a bit daunting for MWSS to continue its Christmas gift-giving this year, as the activity is traditionally held in a community group setting. But, there is no better time to keep the tradition going, bring a small moment of relief and normalcy in these disconcerting times. So, while many have planned for a Christmas in quarantine, MWSS planned how it would conduct its Christmas gift-giving in an outdoor, distanced, and continuously masked activity. It also meant raising funds to cover as many people in need and, at the same time, make a gift that is contemporary and meaningful.
As approved by the MWSS Board of Trustees, the seed money came from the budget’s alignment of funds otherwise to be spent for the Christmas celebration. Other funds to subsidize the gift-giving and relief drives came from the donations from the MWSS Board of Trustees, MWSS’ Concessionaires sponsorship, and in-kind donations raised by the employees. Volunteers packaged and readied for distribution food and non-food items like sleeping mats, kitchen utensils, blankets, hygiene kits, and face masks from the raised donations.
Groups of employees made several trips, traveling through bumpy trails and river-crossings, distance hiked to reach and bring Christmas cheer to the poverty-stricken communities and typhoon victims of Sitio Atburan in General Nakar, Sitio Macua in Doña Remedios Trinidad, sitios in Angat and Ipo in Norzagaray, Bulacan. The long journey was all worth it as joyous smiles abound that no pandemic can extinguish.
MWSS is grateful to serve and share. Even more so, this year, as we reflect on the blessings amid adversities and prove more significant the spirit of giving. After all, Christmas is about appreciating the more valuable things in life, such as kinship with family and community, honoring culture, and joining together to help us fulfill our mission of meeting human needs in Christ’s name.