A Fundraising Campaign for A Friend With Leukemia - The last time I’ve seen the same group of people go on a 5-hour trip, it was for a Christmas party. The situation couldn’t have been more different this time around.

It was Saturday morning.

A roving van can be heard calling out to people to “come check out the garage sale”.

A group of friends and coworkers were busy setting up shop in the covered court of a school. They got several tables in a row with various stuff on them – clothes, books, bags and toys – priced anywhere from 10 to 800.

You can imagine then how exciting it was for customers who would eagerly plunge into each mountainous pile looking for something they like and then discover that they could have it for a mere Php 10. Sometimes, they’d haggle for a bit and then leave even more satisfied with themselves. Classic ukay-ukay.

I could not say the same for the staff who were manning the makeshift store though. It was hardly exciting: waiting around for people to come, beckoning loiterers in and chatting up those who are checking out the merchandise.

The unstable weather didn’t help much either: one minute it’s sweltering, the next it’s raining hard. So it was either the cold driving them to sleep, or the heat driving them nuts. (Thankfully, they were nothing that a bowl of noodles and a cup of coffee couldn’t solve.)

So what would make them work on their only 2 days of rest from a whole week? They were not in it for the money. (If anything, they’re actually spending their money!) They did it for someone they care about.

See, it was a special kind of garage sale. It’s for a cause.

Several weeks back, they learned that their friend’s husband has been diagnosed with leukemia. I know leukemia sounds unreal to most of us. It was one of those serious illnesses that we just know because we’ve seen it in the movies or read about in books. Just like when the TV guys need one character to die in a prolonged and dramatic sort of way. No wonder you’ll find it strange when you suddenly get confronted by it in real life and you’ll be left with a realization that, Jeez, it does happen in real life. And when it happens, sometimes mere sympathy might not be enough.

Like anything else, it’s mainly a question of money, what with the hospital bills, medication and an extremely expensive operation. And knowing that their friend obviously needs help, they came up with this cool plan to do a garage sale in order to raise funds. They opened their closets (or their relatives’ and friends’ closets), took out stuff they could sell and bargain-priced them. The garage sale (for a cause) was born.

At first, there was only a slow trickle of customers but it became a steady stream before the sale was over, and the coins kept coming in. (I suspect that was perhaps owing to the ridiculous price cuts made on some of the items — a stuffed toy priced at 150 was down to 75 without the customer even trying. The as-long-as-it-turns-to-cash strategy no doubt.) When they closed up shop that weekend, they listed almost Php 20,000 in profit and they donated all of it. Not bad for two days of operations. I guess there’s something about helping someone in need that makes usually stingy persons suddenly willing to part with their money – and feel good about it.

So, they have Php 20,000 down and Php 3 million more to go. Sounds like they need some big miracle, huh. But with such resourceful friends and a faithful God, how hard can it be?

Buy Art for a Cause and Save a Life

Another campaign on behalf of Joel Castillo who is undergoing bone-marrow transplant for his acute myeloid leukemia, a form of cancer affecting the blood, is spearheaded by the Isabelita-Rosueta Organization (IROG). Through the kindness and help of Kevin Hamdorf( http://www.kevinhamdorfphotography.com/ ), a close friend and former colleague, anyone can buy fine-art prints and share the proceeds to Joel’s medical needs. So, apart from the t-shirts you can buy APO Shirts for Bro. Joel Castillo( https://www.facebook.com/pages/APO-Shirts-for-Bro-Joel-Castillo/685847278129933 ) as fundraising campaign for Joel’s treatment, you can also acquire beautiful prints to decorate your home or your office. (Please check out this link for the details: www.isabelitarosueta.org/joel.php and Facebook link here: https://www.facebook.com/HelpSaveACancerPatient ).

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