Volunteer Angela Gomez enumerates the benefits of helping underprivileged kids
Angela Gomez, a Training Officer at AXA Distribution, is no stranger to volunteerism, having been involved in outreach activities as early as seventh grade when she joined an Opus Dei advocacy that helps kids in rural areas. “It was a summer camp, where you are immersed for one week, helping with education initiatives for less fortunate children,” she recalls. Her older sister tagged her along so she has something to do over the summer, and was surprised to find her as an enthusiastic worker, diving into creating learning materials and exercises using cartolina and colored pens. “My parents cautioned me that we would be doing chores there, without the help of a yaya. I loved it; I loved interacting with the children so much that it was why I chose teaching as my profession.”
When she found out about the AXA Hearts program, she was psyched. “It gives me another opportunity to help out on my free days. I was also happy that one of the outreach activities was to read to children because education is really close to my heart. It is a way to touch their lives and make dreams come true even for just a few hours on a Saturday.”
She knows first-hand the value of this type of volunteerism, because the children that she had previously reached out to have already counted several graduates among them. She describes, “One of the activities that we had after the storytelling session was to have the children create hats that fit the job they want to have when they grow up. It is with this hope that, more than just finding something to do on a Saturday, in our own little way, we will help impact their future.”
The activity has impacted her own life as well, since she met her fiancé at the storytelling sessions. “This is why the tagline ‘Where hearts meet’ has another meaning for me,” she blushes and grins.
It is so easy to just sleep in on a weekend morning, she says, but joining the AXA Hearts program gives you something to wake up for. “It is about knowing that we can make a difference. I can’t really explain the feeling you get from joining activities like these. Being able to help people is something that gives us a sense of fulfillment different from the other successes and achievements that you already have. You feel happy and proud of yourself for doing good, seeing the beneficiaries, especially the children, happy – that is enough.”
Angela reflects, “It puts more meaning into your work, especially as we are in the industry of helping Filipinos secure their future. With my job, I teach people how to sell insurance; with this, teaching has another new dimension. When you have experiences such as these, your life becomes more meaningful. You learn to complain less and be more appreciative of what you have, and how lucky you are to be in a position to help.”
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