Little man with a big heart, and a huge mission!
Adults take for granted that young children are capable of understanding adult conversation. Sometimes we think they are just listening or not at all! One day in Maine, 10 yr old Evan and his mother Julia were visited by friends Henk and Sarah who have just returned from medical mission in the Philippines. Evan listened unnoticed but intently while Henk and Sarah were sharing their stories about a school named Tungod in Inabanga, Bohol province which was badly damaged by an earthquake in 2013. After awhile, Evan disappeared to another room. Julia interpreted it as a sign of boredom from adult conversation. Stories about the tragedy in the remote, rural, unheard of province in the Philippines is just not appealing to young kids like Evan. In fact, it might even bring scary thoughts.
The town of Tungod is a small fishing village, populated by low income families, led by local government with scarce resources. The children walk to school in worn out slippers because proper shoes are unaffordable. After the 7.2 magnitude earthquake in Bohol, and the super typhoon Haiyan that hit the province a month after, the school in Tungod has experienced flooding by two feet of water during high tide. With the school yard and classrooms underwater, the school children attend classes with their knees, tables and chairs submerged in flood water that may carry all sorts of disease. Through HAND Philippines, Henk and Sarah initiated fundraising from friends to help support the repairs for the school.
After a while, Evan reappears with his wallet on hand. Evan opens his wallet, takes all the money from it and hands it over to Sarah with the intention of donating all the money he had to help re-build Tungod Elementary School. Still not content with his donation, Evan leaves the room and goes to the garage and started gathering all the materials he thought was useful to set up a lemonade stand so he could raise more money. He looks up at Sarah and asks, "how do you spell Philippines?". He then turns to his mom and suggested that they collect all their empty bottles, return them in exchange for some money to be donated to the school children.
Since first learning about the situation of the children in Tungod Elementary School, Evan has raised enough money to fix the school and the land around it. He has been collecting bottles, and continues to do so, from neighbors and friends to redeem 5 cents per bottle. According to Evan, their neighbors were very supportive of his lemonade stand and sometimes gave more than 25 cents for a cup of lemonade. Evan always recalls what his Grampy used to say, "If everyone gave just a little bit, together we could help out a lot!"
In 2015, HAND Philippines revisited Tungod Elementary School and conducted another medical mission for more than 1000 patients. With the help of people like Julia and Evan, who have made helping the children and the school their own personal mission, HAND was able to provide financial assistance for the repairs to alleviate flooding in the classrooms and surrounding areas. Evan continues with his fund raising activities, which has expanded to dog-sitting. He also plans to sell some of his toys and games, as well as rake leaves for the neighbors. To read more about Evan's mission click here (Touching Hearts Far Away)
To make donations to HAND Philippines in support for the school, please click Get Involved and then click on Adopt a School.
We are grateful for all your support!