“Christmas in July” takes after the suggestion of Past RI President MAT Caparas to celebrate the first day of the new Rotary Year with children in the communities.
This year, nearly 50 Rotary Clubs, led by the Rotary Clubs of Makati Gems, Makati, and Muntinlupa Central, organized a celebration at the Sucat Elementary School and the adjacent Sucat Sports Complex in Muntinlupa, where nearly 5,000 indigent children and their families were hosted.
A Santa Claus-clad Rotarian, together with Jollibee mascots, thrilled the children with loot bags and toys. A reading readiness workshop was made more fun with the mascot, “Clifford The Big Red Dog.” Prizes were plentiful for on-the-spot art contest winners. In the afternoon, the older students were taught how to counter bullying, the dangers of substance abuse, and protection of women’s rights. All the children were trained on the fine points of personal hygiene.
The Rotary Club of Makati turned over a thousand books to the Sucat Elementary School from its Books Across the Seas project. A mobile library was kept open to encourage reading.
More than 10 doctors and medical professionals examined over a thousand indigent patients, and dispensed free medicines and reading glasses.
A mobile cervical and breast cancer screening bus was on standby for women who wanted to be examined. There was a feeding tent for undernourished children. In another tent, young mothers received training on the benefits of breastfeeding and caring for young children. Another tent was set up to teach livelihood skills.
A delighted Governor Ador Tolentino interacted with the children and their families. He also played host to Zone Membership Coordinator, PDG Eva Kurniaty of Indonesia, who participated in the event.
See more photos in the August issue of the Philippine Rotary Magazine.