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Meet The Candy Rookie Who Raised P195k To Help Provide NCMH Frontliners With PPEs

We caught up with Gio to ask about the fundraiser and how he was able to set it up with friends, in case you got inspired to start your own!
IMAGE Courtesy Of Gio Acosta, INSTAGRAM/thegioacosta

We may be staying home, but that doesn’t stop people from helping out those who have to head out to do their parts in the fight against COVID-19. For instance, one student (also a Candy Rookie from Batch 3!) put up a fundraiser to gather resources for the frontliners of the National Center For Mental Health (NCMH).

Under the “Let’s Make Ambag” initiative, Candy Rookie Gio Acosta together with his friends managed to raise around P195,000 which they used to purchase alcohol, N95 masks, and personal protective equipment (PPE) for the health workers of NCMH.

 

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We caught up with Gio to ask about the fundraiser and how he was able to set it up with friends, in case you got inspired to start your own!

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Gio has a cousin who works as a nurse at the National Center For Mental Health (NCMH) and learned that a lot of their health workers are positive with coronavirus or are PUIs. As of April 21, CNN Philippines reported that NCMH has at least 75 positive COVID-19 cases, 62 of which are employees and 13 are psychiatric patients.

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This prompted Gio to start a fundraiser to provide the needed supplies for the health workers at NCMH. Gio reached out to friends Christian Cristobal and Lou Zarcal for help in organizing the fundraiser. “Christian was in charge of the marketing. He was the one who created pubs, idea of the the message of our posts, and transparency reports,” Gio explains. “Lou handled the finances. She was the one collecting the money, monitoring the cash flow, expenses, and looking for donors as well. I was the one in charge of looking for suppliers, purchasing the supplies, picking it up, and collecting the in-kind donations.”

The fundraiser was promoted through social media. “We posted on different Facebook groups and on IG stories during our first two days but we weren’t really getting that much,” Gio admits. Things changed when they chanced upon journalist Atom Araullo’s tweet about NCMH. “We saw Atom Araullo’s tweet about the situation of NCMH so we replied and told them that we’re raising funds for NCMH. In just a span of two days, we exceeded our goal.

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“Initially we just wanted to raise P119,000 for them, but thankfully, we were able to raise P195,448.84. Also, there were anonymous donors who would donate a huge amount of money, nakakatuwa sila.”

Admittedly, Gio didn’t know where to source for supplies at first. But since it was his task, he joined various Facebook groups and asked around among friends until he found contacts that would supply them with the needed donations.

Once they reached their target budget, they ordered supplies right away. “At first we allocated money for alcohol so that we can donate 20 gallons of it,” shares Gio. “But some people reached out to us and said that they’ll donate the alcohol instead. So our group decided to spend the money allocated for alcohol to surgical masks instead. All in all we were able to donate 60 boxes of surgical masks, 26 gallons of alcohol, 170 pieces of KN95 masks, 50 boxes of surgical gloves, and 300 PPEs.”

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On April 21, Gio was able to deliver the last batch of PPEs and masks to NCMH frontliners:

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Mylene Mendoza
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A community page where you can share your feels and show your skills! Learn more here

"Today, I Won"

I always caught feelings for someone, and hoped so much that one day there could a thing between the two of us. I'm usually the one that makes the effort to buy and/or make cute gifts, chats them every other day, and stays up all night with him.

When I was 16, my childhood crush suddenly came back into my life. We'd constantly send updates to each other, recommend favorite songs and talk even the most random things. He'd even text me as early as 6 to just greet me good morning almost everyday. I hoped so much that when I confessed, he suddenly stopped talking to me.

For short, he ghosted me. Those 6 months I spent talking to him, allotting my time for him, and staying up until 3 am for him - all gone in a simple confession. Although I had a few crushes before him, he's the only one that got me in real pain. It was the kind of pain that I never thought I'd experience. It was the kind of pain that I couldn't believe.

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After 7 years (it happened back in 2017), I thought he came back into my life to stay, but I guess he's just one of the guys who distanced. I felt a complete loser that time. But during this quarantine, everything was different. I caught feelings for someone else, but he treated me with the best kindness yet.

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It happened at 2 am, May 30, 2020, when I impulsively confessed my feelings through messaging him. After saying my feelings, he responded with genuine and kind words. We both even complimented each other. Although the feelings didn't reciprocate, I still found a connection that can't be replaced with any guy.

To my 16 year old self, here I am, 18 and happy. You may have felt that time was the biggest regret and loss, but I'm here to tell you, we won. Today, I won.

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Juliana Rebong 22 hours ago

Why our high school barkada is the best?

Remembering our high school years entails quite a lot reminiscing of the things we all been through when we were younger. You’ve experience a lot of new things during those 4 wonderful years and did most of them with the few people you consider your barkada. And through a series of all the lunch breaks you had together, the walks you took on the way home, and taking the same classes, you never thought you’d survive, you have made your life’s greatest friends.

Here are some of the reasons why your high school barkada is the best:

1. You figured out early teenage life together. The transition one have undergone from being a kid to a teenager wasn’t easy. For a moment you are not sure whether you should have played with your friends during recess or you should have just sat down and ate your food because you were too old for games. But whatever it is you chose to do, having friends who were as clueless as you make everything feel easier because you know, deep down, you’d figure things out eventually. You just need good company.

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2. They were with you during your “jeje“ days. I bet you have pictures taken with Camera360 and Retrica. You also have pictures edited using Pizap with embarrassing captions and you somehow kept some of them so you could have something to post online during their birthdays.

3. They know all your exes. They will never EVER forget the name of an ex-boyfriend, an ex-fling, an ex-crush, and an almost you had. They will remind you of your every questionable love decision but you’ll just laugh anyway while saying “Past is past”.

4. They never judge you. They have welcomed you to their lives when you thought jelly shoes and checkered polos were the bomb! They were quick to have told your teachers that you were not feeling well so you could go home when you really just needed to poop. You tell them every embarrassing story you have and were fine with it.

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5. You can always count on them. From the moment you first fell in love and the moment you first had your heart broken, they were with you. They were with you the moment you lost a parent and at moments when you thought you had nothing. Through every break-up and breakthrough, they were there to be your support system.

6. They are your family. Your high school friend’s family is your own family’s extension. Their parents are like your own. Don’t you feel a little kilig whenever your friend’s parents call you “anak”? And then eventually calling them mama and papa became so natural? I felt that, all the time.

7. They will always be your home. They are your place of refuge and security, the place who offers you their hands when you feel lost and the place you run to when you need saving. No matter how much time and distance separate you, they will be the one’s that you always long for and they are the one’s that you will always return to.

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