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