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A tribute to the volunteers and stories of everyday philanthropy

In this time of uncertainty and fear, heroes rose to the occasion to lead the charge against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

With the COVID-19 crippling the nation from all angles, Filipinos stepped up. 

Business tycoons showered the country with a handful of donations ranging from relief packs, personal protective equipment for the frontliners, and medical equipment for hospitals and isolation areas.

Doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals dedicated their lives to helping COVID-19 patients to recover, even exposing themselves to the danger of the virus while shielding the nation to a possible bigger outbreak.

People from the entertainment industry provided aid through online concerts that collected enough financial help for the patients and the victims of the lockdown of businesses and livelihoods.

But the most overlooked hero in this time of panic and hopelessness is the volunteerism work of people.

Many volunteers have been working 24/7 without expecting any compensation or reward  exhibiting the selfishness of Filipinos.

In an online interview, a volunteer from a barangay in Marilao—a municipality in Bulacan—explains why volunteerism helps the people who are in need but also changing his view on life itself.

"I chose to volunteer to prevent the spread (of COVID-19) in our barangay. I help through delivering relief packs and quarantine passes to different houses to prevent people from going out unnecessarily," said Jomark Talidong, a factory worker who chose to volunteer in his spare time.

When asked about the hardest part of volunteering, Jomark proudly spoke that helping others is not easy but it is somewhat soothing to the body.

"Its both hard and tiring but I am happy because people saw the sacrifices of our team and they are showing appreciation and sometimes they are giving 'ulam' for our group," shared Talidong with an obvious joy on his voice.

But the biggest lesson he learned is showing kindness in these desperate times.

"I realized how hard it is for the local government unit to provide aid, but helping others enlighten me that even when there's the strongest storm or this pandemic, Filipinos will always be kind to its fellow citizen," explained Talidong.

"If someone asked me if I will continue to serve my neighbors, my answer will always be yes,"  he ended.

The story of Jomark is one of the thousands of volunteers around the country that keeps people safe and secure.

In these trying times, we should be grateful to all the frontliners and volunteers that are sacrificing their lives for the sake of the whole country.

From everyone in Manila Standard, thank you for your hard work.

Topics: coronavirus disease pandemic , volunteerism , tribute , Jomark Talidong
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