Josh, 13 years old, is always looking forward to visitors at the House of Hope in Davao City, where he receives treatment for his illness. He says he is filled with happiness every time people remember to visit them, “Sobrang happy ako at excited kasi ibig sabihin hindi nila ako nakakalimutan dahil may sakit ako”, Josh told one of the OICs of House of Hope.
It’s this kind of sheer happiness from the children that fuels Davao Celebrity Chef Patrick Co and his team to continuously support organizations such as the House of Hope. Since 2020, Chef Patrick has been organizing Thanksgiving parties and early Christmas celebrations for children with cancer to show them that there’s always something to look forward to and that they should live their lives to the fullest, “Out of all the charities and places I donate to, House of Hope remains a priority. I believe in supporting these children because they should be chasing their dreams and living a good life but the odds are against them due to their illness. It’s really a sad reality so we want to make sure that we try to help them in any way we can,” Chef Patrick shared.
The young Davaoeno Chef said this year’s Thanksgiving was different from the rest. They wanted the children to imagine what the future would look like for them. “We had an activity where we asked them what they want to be when they grow up. Most of them answered Doctor and Police because they wanted to help people who are in the same situation as them. It was such an eye-opening activity not only for the kids, but most especially for me and my team, because all the children were full of hope talking about their future–and at this point in their lives, that’s all that matters”, Chef Patrick said.
The House of Hope is very much grateful for Chef Patrick’s continuous help and support. Sheila, one of the OICs of the organization said, the young Chef’s contributions really go a long way in helping the kids both physically and mentally, “Knowing na walang-wala yung mga bata dito, nagpapasalamat kami na pinili niyo kami as beneficiary. Yung mga activity and donation nakakatulong sa kanilang everyday life–both physically and mentally”, Sheila said. Josh, for his part, has a message for Chef Patrick, “Sana mas marami pa syang matulungan. Thank you sa pagpunta at pagtulong sa amin.”
Aside from the “What Do You Want to be When you Grow Up” activity, Chef Patrick also taught kids how to coat and put sprinkles on chocolate truffles. They also had a gift giving afterwards to thank the kids for spending time with them. “So grateful and blessed to have been given another opportunity to celebrate Christmas early with the kids from House of Hope. We’ve been doing this annually but we’ll never get used to the overflowing love and warmth we receive from the kids every time we visit”, Chef Patrick said.
The House of Hope is a temporary home for children with cancer. This is a project in collaboration with the Rotary Club of Downtown Davao, of which Chef Patrick is also a member, and in coordination with the Davao Children’s Cancer Fund Inc. It was inaugurated in 2007 and since then, has served around 5,000 children and caregivers. The House of Hope continues to provide a clean and healing environment for children with cancer.
If you wish to help, you may reach them via email@example.com. For donations, you may send them to Southern Philippines Medical Center Compound (Former Davao Medical Center Compound), JP Laurel, Bajada, 8000, Davao City.