Creating Positive Change in the Philippines

Hands On Manilla fosters a sense of community through volunteerism.

Celebrating at the Good Deeds Day carnival in Manila

(Courtesy Hands On Manilla)

Every person can create positive change in their community and in the entire world. This is the vision of Hands On Manilla HOM, an organization that has provided a model for volunteering for over twenty years in the Philippines. By believing that everyone can give service, HOM works to address critical needs like education and the environment through volunteer action.

Because of this commitment to doing good and volunteering, according to a statement from the organization, HOM joined the Good Deeds Day network in 2017. 

Good Deeds Day, now in its 18th year, was founded by Shari Arison, philanthropist, businesswoman, in just one country in 2007. This day of altruism morphed into a global movement of volunteering and doing good. Now this global day of volunteering and doing good is celebrated in 115 countries by millions of people worldwide. In 2024, Good Deeds Day will be held on April 14.

Arison said about her vison: “I believe that if people will think good, speak good and do good, the circles of goodness will grow in the world.” This was a perfect fit for both organizations.

Partnering together
On the first Good Deeds Day in Manilla, volunteers organized a fun day full of activities at Arocerros Forest Park for kids that live on the streets, according to the statement. The children were cared for by the NGO Childhope Philippines in partnership with HOP.

In 2018, the focus was on the environment and volunteers cleaned the coast of Freedom Island. Volunteers removed a huge quantity of trash that was littering the beaches.

Children were the focus of Good Deeds Day in 2019 when volunteers created a childrens' carnival that featured games, magicians, jugglers, food and fun. This event was organized so that 200 orphans from the Virlanie Foundation, Bahay Maria Children's Center, and the Holy Family Home for Girls could attend a fun-filled day.

The carnival was open to the city’s residents and more than 800  people attended. “This was the most successful event before the pandemic,” Rizhia Nina Gonzalez, the marketing officer of HOM told Goodnet.

While Good Deeds Day went virtual in 2020 due to the pandemic, it came back live in 2021 when the Cook for Good project cooked and distributed meals to homeless people in Manilla, according to the statement. In 2022 a volunteer project prepared educational materials for the benefit of the children of Siargao who survived the devastation caused by the Typhoon Odette.

Helping the planet played a big role in 2023's Clean & Green with Hands On Manila project that was held at the C.P. Sta. Teresa Elementary School in Taguig. The hardworking volunteers 4,774 collected 422 liters of plastic trash that was recycled. Two hundred plastic bottles were painted and repurposed as pencil holders for 15, 568 public school students. HOM also participated in a joint Asian initiative to raise awareness of the trash problems in communities and how to fix it.

Looking forward to Good Deeds Day 2024
This year is shaping up to be one of the best ever. On Saturday, April 13, HOM is organizing a literary event called Pista ng Libro, Gonzalez told Goodnet.

“Pista ng Libro is a carnival celebrating Filipino writers and a love of books and reading. It will gather more than 200 volunteers, public school students, and NGO beneficiaries and will promote awareness and appreciation for education as well as cultural heritage,” she said.

With the shared vision of Hands On Manilla and Good Deeds Day, this volunteer event will help to make positive change in the world, one book, one student, and one volunteer at a time.

You Can Take Part in the Global Day of Doing Good
The Do-Nation Foundation Spreading Kindness in Saint Lucia
Youth Volunteers in Venezuela: Restoring Faith and Inspiring Change

Good Deeds Day, an annual global day of doing good, is the pinnacle of doing good year-round. Initiated in 2007 by business woman and philanthropist Shari Arison, Good Deeds Day has grown to 115 countries with millions of participants.  Good Deeds Day 2024 will take place on  April 14.