Street families in Manila receive Christmas treats from PAGCOR

Monday | December 19, 2011 | 10:30 AM

A total of 180 street families composed of 330 adults and children under the care of St. Luke Reach Out Foundation in Paco, Manila received Christmas presents from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) on the 23rd day of the “Pamaskong Handog ng PAGCOR 2011: 25 Days of Christmas, 25 Years of PAGCOR” nationwide gift-giving project.

PAGCOR breaks monthly income record anew
Evelyn Tedranes (middle) cries with joy during PAGCOR’s turnover of gifts to the beneficiaries of St. Luke Reach Out Foundation in Paco, Manila during the 23rd day of “Pamaskong Handog ng PAGCOR 2011: 25 Days of Christmas, 25 Years of PAGCOR” on December 17. Also in the photo is her son Jonas Tedranes (second from left), PAGCOR’s Assistant Manager for Community Relations and Services John Joseph Javier (left) and St. Luke Foundation Executive Director Fr. Luke Moortgat (right).

All the beneficiaries were handed gift packs of groceries and personal items. PAGCOR also donated to the institution 20 sewing machines, one DVD player, a complete sound system consisting of one audio mixer, one compressor and limiter, one power amplifier, four system speakers with stands, one equalizer, one rack with roller caster and two microphones.

St. Luke Reach Out Foundation was established in 2003 by Dutch priest Fr. Luke Moortgat and the late businessman and philanthropist Eduardo Garcia. The wards of the foundation benefit from weekly feeding programs, medical missions and catechism at the Paco Church grounds in Manila, and are also allowed to take a bath and wash their clothes in the church grounds.

Fr. Moortgat, director of the foundation, expressed his appreciation for PAGCOR’s gifts which he said are exactly what the foundation needs as they expand their work and reach out to the less fortunate. Among the foundation’s main goals is to provide Manila’s street families with skills training and livelihood programs.

“These people are not only poor, but they are at the bottom of society. They are the first ones who really need to be helped. The sewing machines are indeed a great help to our impoverished brothers and sisters so we can help them start their own livelihood. The sound system, the microphones, will help us reach out to more people in need,” Fr. Moortgat said.

“I am extremely happy – not only happy, but I really appreciate that PAGCOR wants to help these people and reach out to the people in need. Thank you so much for giving these people concern. Marami pong salamat,” he added.

41-year old Evelyn Tedranes who is one of the beneficiaries of the foundation, has been living on the streets since she was 12. She lost her first two children in the streets of Lawton and Luneta, one given up for adoption and one stolen while she was asleep.

PAGCOR breaks monthly income record anew
Evelyn Tedranes (right) delightfully kisses son Jonas (left) after receiving Yuletide treats from PAGCOR during the 23rd day of “Pamaskong Handog ng PAGCOR 2011: 25 Days ofChristmas, 25 Years of PAGCOR” gift-giving activity at St. Luke Reach Out Foundation in Paco, Manila. Evelyn and her son are among the more than 7,000 beneficiaries in 36 charitable institutions nationwide benefited by the nationwide gift-giving project of PAGCOR which began on November 25 and ends on December 19.

Vowing not to lose her third child, Evelyn tries her best to make ends meet and raise her child despite so many difficulties. She hopes that someday, her son would fulfil his dream to become an engineer.

The St. Luke Reach Out Foundation, meanwhile has been helping Evelyn and her seven-year old son since the institution was established eight years ago. Through PAGCOR’s assistance, the foundation will be able to provide a more sustainable source of livelihood for Evelyn and the rest of the homeless and needy families who rely on the institution’s help.

“Nagpapasalamat ako sa Diyos na nandiyan ang foundation para sa amin para kumalinga. Napakalaking bagay po nitong foundation sa amin. Kaya po malaki rin ang pasasalamat ko sa PAGCOR sa tulong nila at hindi po nila nakakalimutan tulungan ang talagang mga nangaingailangan. Kahit papaano po, magiging masaya ang Pasko,” she said.

Evelyn also added that she and her child now have something good to look forward to in the coming year. “Makakatulong po ang mga makina na bigay ng PAGCOR para makapaghanap-buhay kami at magkaroon ng pagkakakitaan. Matustusan ko na po sa wakas ang pag-aaral ng anak ko. Magsisikap po ako para makapagtapos siya at maabot ang kanyang pangarap.”

Meanwhile, PAGCOR Assistant Vice President for Corporate Communications, Maricar Bautista said the Pamaskong Handog 2011 is just one of PAGCOR’s means to stay true to its commitment to be the government’s partner in nation building.

“To build a nation, you must aid and provide support to those who are really in need. PAGCOR’s Pamaskong Handog is not only a way of sharing our blessings this Christmas season but also a way of responding to our corporation’s mandate of helping build the nation.”

During PAGCOR’s gift-giving event the foundation’s beneficiaries were also entertained by Shamrock vocalist Mark Tupaz, Miss Casino Filipino 2011 Catrine Rosary Ocampo, Hansen Nichols of Pinoy Dream Academy and the PAGCOR Voice Symphony.

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