From 10,000 to A Million Miracles

Last October 10, Gawad Kalinga initiated a nationwide feeding that aimed to reach 10,000 kids. With the help of partner individuals, communities and groups, the goal was surpassed almost tenfold. That day was truly a testament to the giving spirit of the Filipino people. So in another bold attempt, GK is now raising its call for 1M hunger warriors to feed at least 10 children in time for Christmas.

Philippines Volunteer Charity Help Activism Charities gk Gawad Kalinga 4

Gawad Kalinga has been operating Kusina ng Kalinga (KnK) since 2014 as a strategic response to the problem of hunger and malnutrition among Filipino children. October 10, 2020 was a milestone for the program because it was the first time that GK initiated a simultaneous nationwide feeding. GK has been known for its yearly nationwide house builds through its movement Bayani Challenge, where it calls volunteers from Luzon to Mindanao to come together at key sites to build houses over the course of a week. But this pandemic has highlighted another social issue- hunger. The latest SWS survey reports that hunger is at an all-time high, thus the more urgent focus of GK now is providing meals where it is most needed.

“Hunger is most cruel to the young because sustained hunger causes malnutrition and stunted growth, the effects of which will be carried until their adulthood. If we want to make sure that our children and our future have a fighting chance, then we must act now!” says GK Executive Director, Dan Bercasio.

When the pandemic hit, KnK reinvented its operations from school feeding to community feeding. Since July, it has reached 6,000 kids in 96 communities. But it had to scale faster because hunger was spreading quicker, thus the idea of a simultaneous nationwide feeding was born with the hope of initiating a ripple effect.

“The goal for the nationwide feeding was to feed 10,000 children in one day, but we ended with a number that was almost tenfold! Similar to the gospel story where Jesus fed the five thousand from 5 loaves and two fish, we have witnessed a similar miracle where the food reached more people!” recounts Mark Cruz, Program Head of KnK. The day ended with a count of 75K hungry
children from 630 communities being fed by countless generous individuals, corporations, and organizations.

GK wants to grow this ripple of hope to cover as many children as possible. “If we encourage at least 1M Filipinos to feed 10 hungry children, then we can fill 10M hungry tummies with love and care at this time of desperation. All it costs is P20 to give one healthy meal to 1 hungry child”, continues Mark.

It seems like a tall order, but GK has been known to push the limits and dream big for the nation. “We cannot do it alone, the true essence of our work in GK is not to build houses nor kitchens, our role is to bring people together to inspire change and impact,” says Dan.

Christmas is just around the corner and the pandemic has dampened an otherwise joyous season. GK wants to ignite the spirit of hope by reminding everyone that the true meaning of the season is making Christ come alive in each and every heart. The Million Miracles campaign wants to inspire those “who have more” to reach out to those “who have less”, so we all have just enough of what we really need. This is where the true miracle happens, when we offer up ourselves to one another, just as Christ did for us.

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