The CanDeed Volunteers: IN JESUS, WE CAN!

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1.CanDeed Goodsindex

“I will go to the uttermost part of the world in search of souls.”

As blessed to be part of the Hijas family, these words from Juana Josefa, who is known as Mother Candida, became The CanDeed Volunteers' driving force and inspiration to see God through the hearts and eyes of our brothers and sisters in need.

 Candeed Logo

 Who are The CanDeed Volunteers?

      The CanDeed Volunteers is a small movement composed of passionate (former and current) personnel from Sacred Heart School-Hijas de Jesus (and some friends). Through the inspiration of God and Mo. Candida, these young people courageously took actions to make better known the name and works of our Mother Foundress, Saint Candida Maria de Jesus, by reaching out to our less fortunate brothers and sisters. Although the movement is not officially associated with the school and the congregation, it was born and continued through the inspiration and charism of our Mother Foundress.

3 CanDeed Volunteers

 

Why CanDeed?

      The name CanDeed was suggested by Mrs. Florilou Pantallano, the former School Principal of Sacred Heart School-Hijas de Jesus, during a casual, friendly chat with some of the core group members. CanDeed is a wordplay as a tribute to Mo. Candida's name while integrating the aim of distributing [mainly] CANned goods and doing good DEEDs (outreach activities). The logo (designed by Mr. John Laurence Villaflor, a former colleague) reflects Mo. Candida's and the volunteers' intent of being in solidarity with the less fortunate: even in our simple and limited means, for as long as it is IN JESUS, WE CAN help others.

 How it started

      The movement started from a social apostolate session given by one of the school administrators on August 3, 2018. In the said session, as they were grouped by the number of their years of service in school, teachers were asked to think of innovative ways of introducing St. Candida Maria de Jesus to people who are not part of the educative community. Many ideas were conceived that day, and we could most certainly point to that day as the day when the inspiration of doing our own outreach activities came to us.

      As the Feast of St. Candida Ma. de Jesus (August 9) was approaching, a close group of teachers who were part of the same group from the aforementioned social apostolate activity planned to distribute 40 packs of goods. Thus, the birth of the core group and its very first outreach activity. Through Divine Providence and the generosity and willingness of the group and their colleagues, the group was able to achieve the modest goal. It was such a gift to accomplish the goal in such a short period, graced with colleagues whose hearts are also driven to help and care for others.

      The group's humble beginnings and circumstances helped CanDeed see the true face of God, thus driving the group to organize more outreach activities. Since then, the volunteer movement has been organizing donation drives that have always included canned goods [together with other goods] given away during significant days of the Hijas de Jesus congregation. Feeling the love and connection of people (both in need and those who help those in need) is truly an incredible and priceless experience. It slowly and eventually led to an increase in the number of goods donated and distributed and most especially, to a deeper relationship with God.

How did the movement recruit volunteers?

     The core group started recruiting personnel and outsiders close to them through a letter circulated during vacant periods. The movement does not have exclusive members and welcomes all who are willing to share means they possibly can, whether to donate goods or volunteer in distributing them.

 How do the outreach activities go?

      At least a week ahead of the selected date of the outreach activity, the core group communicates through a letter to invite volunteers and donors. A day before the distribution of goods, volunteers pack the goods following the 3-2-1 format: three easy-open canned goods, two biscuits, and one liter of water. The packs of goods come with stickers (edited by Mr. Michael Luiji Clitar, a colleague) with St. Candida’s face on them and her quotes in the dialect (translated by Mme. Rosalie Idulsa, the present School Principal). The group also included a blanket, rationed spaghetti, egg sandwich, and a ngohiong meal per pack of goods on different special occasions.

2 Candeed Stickers

     On the day of the distribution, the volunteers set out by threes (with goods in their bags) and give away the goods to street people they randomly meet. Different trios are assigned on designated streets in Cebu City located nearby Sacred Heart School-Hijas de Jesus (namely Don Jose Avila St, Ramos St, Osmeña Blvd, Escario St, Juana Osmeña St, and Don Ramon Aboitiz St).

1 CanDeed Goods

      Once the goods in their bags are all given away already, a designated vehicle from one of the volunteers (usually provided by Mr. Rodrigo Miguel Catral III, a colleague) refills their bags with another set of goods so that the volunteers would not carry loaded bags while roaming around to the different locations, in search of those who might be in need of our simple gift.

      When all the goods have been distributed, all available volunteers gather together to share significant and touching experiences and [informally] evaluate and/or give feedback about the outreach activity of that day.

 

What keeps the group going all this time?

      It’s challenging at times, that's true, but nothing feels as good when one is able to extend a helping hand to others in need. And, simply because the group is led by God: to always choose the most loving option (for themselves and for others) to see our brothers and sisters smile and feel loved even in the midst of their circumstances.

 How it's going

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     The pandemic has even pushed more families into poverty and health inequities. While it is already a given, it does not mean that we will simply give in.

      That is why this time, we are one with the world as the CanDeed Volunteers together with Little Flower School, Inc., Youth Loves Dumanjug Association, and some passionate and generous Dumajuganons (headed by Ms. Joveth Asentista) have decided to come up with the I LOVE DUMANJUG Community Pantry in Dumanjug, Cebu which will be immediately operating on May 8, 16, and 23, 2021 (month of May being the birth month of our Mother Foundress). This is inspired by the Maguinhawa Community Pantry which started in Maginhawa, Quezon City. The community pantry allows people to donate and get goods or food for free.

      Moreover, The CanDeed Volunteers and LFSI are also planning to organize another community pantry, this time in the neighboring municipality Ronda, Cebu. Currently, the organizers are hard at work in looking for volunteers and donors to cater to the needs of our less fortunate brothers and sisters.

 How can others take part?

      There are thousands more who are fighting for survival, thus, in need of caring now more than ever. For our present community outreach activity, please help us spread the word to gather more donations in the form of farm produce or other goods for the community pantries! Please refer to the attached poster for details.

      We highly encourage donors to donate in-kind, but in case help is extended in monetary means, you may send it through GCASH via Jessa Ensao 0917 322 3300.

      With all these undertakings, we give all glory and praise to our Heavenly Father and forever grateful to the abiding light and inspiration of Mother Mary and our Mother Foundress. Even in the smallest of ways possible, we know that IN JESUS, WE CAN do everything, and IN JESUS, WE CAN help!