By Michael Angelo S. Murillo
IN THE country since 1981 combating hunger and malnutrition among children as well as delivering other programs geared towards helping kids lead better lives, Save the Children Philippines is raising its game in making known what it does with the recent launch of the #LahatSanta Christmas campaign.
Save the Children, through #LahatSanta, is encouraging individuals, schools and companies to pick up the cause of being heroes for kids by wearing Santa hats this Christmas, raising funds in their own creative ways, and donating the money to the organization.
Part of the Save the Children worldwide movement which has presence in 120 countries, the local chapter of the organization said it could not emphasize enough the need to pick up the pace in the battle against hunger and malnutrition in the country, thus, necessitating campaigns like #LahatSanta.
“In the Philippines, one in three children suffers from stunted growth due to hunger and malnutrition, and this means that they won’t be able to reach their full potential. Poor families struggle to feed their children and it’s estimated that 1.5 million Filipino children go to sleep hungry every night, not having eaten a thing all day,” said Dr. Amado Parawan, Save the Children’s Health and Nutrition Advisor, during the #LahatSanta campaign launch last week at the Legend Villas in Mandaluyong City.
Mr. Parawan said that while they have made significant strides in dealing with the problem through the years, with partnerships with the departments of Health, Social Welfare and Development, and Education, among others, much can still be done, especially with the help of the private sector.
It is something that Riel Andaluz, Save the Children’s head of strategic partnerships, backs, considering how having more people getting involved in varying capacities would go a long way in expanding the organization’s programs and reaching more children.
“#LahatSanta campaign is part of our thrust to create further awareness on hunger and malnutrition. So we look at working with private individuals and groups as a way of enhancing and complementing it. We need them to get involved. The problem is far from over. We need to spread the word about it and encourage action to address it,” Ms. Andaluz said.
HOW TO BE A SANTA
To get involved in #LahatSanta campaign, one needs to first sign up on www.lahatsanta.ph to receive a free fundraising pack which includes a coin bank, a Christmas poster, and a Santa hat.
Then participants have to plan their fundraising activities which can include things like a garage sale, caroling, selling artwork, and doing Christmas dares.
The funds raised can then be sent to Save the Children Philippines.
Participants are also encouraged to wear their Santa hats on Dec. 15 and make a shout-out post or selfie using the hashtag #LahatSanta to show how they are raising funds for children.
One of the groups that is already on board is Aldenver Marketing, Inc. which is organizing a Christmas Charity Run on Dec. 17 at SM By The Bay, proceeds of which will go to Save the Children.
Categories for the run are 500 meter dash for kids for a P500 registration fee, and a three-kilometer run for P600. Inclusive in the registration fees are a Santa hat, singlet, loot bag, and certificate.
Artists and “influencers” such as Ria Atayde, Bianca Guidotti, Jeushl Wensh Tiu, and Trish Ramos have also expressed interest in the campaign, while groups like the BPI Foundation, Family Mart, Strong Media Advertising Solutions, Inc., Light Network, Nyxsys, OLX, and ANC are now committed to it.
“With every Lahat Santa hat comes great responsibility. Your commitment to the Lahat Santa campaign could mean life-saving support for a child. Your donation can provide treatment to babies suffering from malnutrition and help expand our programs that could impact their lives in the long run,” Ms. Andaluz said as she reiterated how valuable and meaningful the #LahatSanta campaign can be.