The MI President’s Report (2017-2019)
It has been 2 years since our last grand reunion in Seattle and we are now gathered here in Dallas, Texas to once again reconnect and celebrate the bonds that keep our hometown, Mainit, forever in our hearts. Our organization has weathered storms but it will continue to remain true to our vision and mission. As a group of volunteers spread across the globe it is not always easy, we can all feel overwhelmed with family obligations and job demands. But with some help from Skype or Messenger or Viber we do, in fact, manage to get things done. But it’s our Commitment to MI and to the People of Mainit that always wins the day!
Our relationships with partner organizations like Tambayayong Mainit, Inc., (TMI) continue to grow. We continue to co-sponsor the eLibrary Project in Mainit, the Unang Hakbang Pagbasa Program, a tree-growing campaign, and the water pump installation efforts in high-need areas. In May 2018, we held a very successful Dance Event and Reunion (DEAR) in Rosemont, Illinois. We collected more funds to further support our programs in Mainit and recruiting a number of new members while providing our existing members with a bit of fun and a big dose of enthusiasm.
Additionally, I am proud to announce that the MI website has been officially launched and is up and running! We have established a PayPal account to make donation easier. It has already proven useful in its pilot run for crowdfunding the expansion of the eLibrary project in collaboration with TMI. In addition to what we have already donated before, MI will turn-over a total of over $2,000 to TMI for the project this year. The eLibrary Project not only provides essential digital resources (encyclopedias, books, training videos, etc) to schools in Mainit but also provides training for both students and teachers.
We will use the same fundraising platform for other projects that we will continue to support and implement. This should minimize “donor fatigue” among members, since our fundraising site is now open to everyone across the globe.
Nine local elementary schools that have already benefitted from our big book donations (Unang Hakbang Pagbasa Program). The most remote barangays and those barangays with indigenous peoples have been prioritized. The next crowdfunding activity would be for the expansion of this specific program. We hope to bring this gift of learning to all the 21 barangays of Mainit.
On the environmental front, again together with TMI, we have planted hundreds of indigenous trees along the Mainit lakeshore over the last 2 years. The tree planting last October drew over 80 volunteers including grade-schoolers from Tagbuyawan, Mainit Surigao del Norte. With that level of enthusiasm, we certainly look forward to continuing our support for this program. And on the healthcare front, in November 2018, we also helped fund the medical-dental mission in Barangays Tagbuyawan, Tapian and Mansayao, which brought services to over 2,000 patients.
As a fiscally sound 501(c)3 non-profit corporation we are in good standing under California law and your donations to MI are fully tax-deductible.
MI will remain an organization that will be as strong as we want it to be. As Diasporans, we need to be mindful of the fact that we are set apart: we are given opportunities beyond the reach of most Filipinos. But we never forget our responsibility to support those who may follow us in a similar journey and those who will strive to strengthen the communities back home from which we all came.
We do not forget that we are also successful because of the love and support from our loved ones back in the Philippines, those who have lifted us in so many ways. Likewise, we are been buoyed up by the welcoming love and support of families and friends who have been here before us as well as new ones in our newfound land. There is so much to celebrate! But there are also more challenges.
MI is now holding its 10th biennial anniversary. That’s a mean feat! But this also means we need to reinvigorate and infuse new blood into the organization. We need to invite other Mainitnons who have not been involved yet and encourage our younger generation to participate. We need new stronger concatenations.
This year, we give due recognition to nine young Mainitnon-Americans for their hard work and dedication in their early careers. What I saw as what really sets our reunions apart is that we truly care for each other. It’s always the spirit of sharing and the love for Mainit that shine thru.
We need the commitment of each and every one. We prevail as a civic organization if our hearts and minds remain true to the commitment we made when we first joined hands at the first of our reunions. We recognize our oneness, our gratitude for the grace and gifts bestowed upon us as diasporans and the responsibilities that come with those gifts.