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VA: Volunteering Awesomeness!

Life as a Virtual Assistant in Virtual BizNest isn’t always about chugging away through the daily grind and delivering results to our clients. While we talk a big game about helping our foreign clients bring balance to life and work, that’s not all that we are about. Virtual BizNest also sees life as a balance of receiving and giving towards our own people. It is because we have so much to be thankful for that we can give back. This year’s Thanksgiving, a feeding program was in place for sixty kids at the Lantaw-Ugma Outreach center (LUO) in the island of Leyte. That gave our VAs another definition: Volunteering Awesomeness.

See the volunteering awesomeness for yourself in this video.

From Cebu To Leyte

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The officers of Virtual BizNest VBN took a ferry ride to the town of Isabel in the morning of November 22nd. It took quite a bit of time, as the destination was located in Eastern Visayas, a considerable distance from Cebu. We gathered supplies and headed to the actual site of the volunteer operation the next morning. It was a 30-minute hike into the mountain village of Honan.

The whole activity was fun. Our lead web developer, Anthony, gladly shared his talent in cooking the meals. The rest of the team helped out in the food prepping, while enjoying the fresh air, the delightful view and sounds of nature.

Following a scrumptious breakfast composed of chicken and macaroni soup, the kids proceeded with their morning activities, ranging from fun games to art classes. After which, VBN’s CEO, John Signe, imparted words of encouragement. And then came lunch. The team served another full healthy meal composed of rice, stir-fry noodles, egg and braised meat.

You could see their faces brighten up, and you know they were exhilarated. Hearty meals and activities like this translate to them as being valued and cared for. Equally important is our objective of demonstrating to them the significance of kindness. Aside from giving them physical nourishment, wisdom and attention, we gave each one of them a pack of chocolate powdered milk supplement to take home. This would remind them throughout the week even through the difficulties of everyday life, that some time, some people actually came all the way to show them their worth.

From Six Kids to Sixty

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In the video, John Signe explains that the center’s name, Lantaw-Ugma, means “looking ahead”. He recounts how in 2012 his father and his aunt were greeted by six undernourished out-of-school kids as they went to see the mountains one day. They were filled with compassion for these children who had no inclination or hope of having a better future. Someone had to guide these youngsters and give them the confidence to look ahead. Finding themselves going back to that mountain village week after week to feed these children, they started teaching them how to read and write. Soon after, life skills and hygiene were incorporated in their lessons, as well as fun and games. These are much needed services at mountainous regions like this where schools can be quite far off. As time went by, that number quickly grew until LUO came to accommodate around sixty children.

All these years, LUO continues helping scores of kids. Now, VBN intends to lend a hand. All credit to the Giver of all blessings who provided business to our valued clients. For while the company and its VAs are provided jobs by clients abroad, it is able to share to the less fortunate members of its own community. After all, what is work-life balance if it doesn’t enrich more people’s lives?