Volunteering is a powerful act of selflessness that brings about positive change in both individuals and communities. It provides a unique opportunity for individuals to make a meaningful impact and contribute to causes they are passionate about. Whether it’s supporting marginalized communities, protecting the environment, or advocating for education and healthcare, volunteering allows individuals to actively participate in creating a better world.
The spirit of volunteerism shone brightly as more than 13,000 passionate individuals rallied together for the highly anticipated Go! Volunteer Expo, the largest volunteer engagement event in the Philippines. Organized by iVolunteer in partnership with SM Cares, SM Supermalls, and Cravewell, the two-day exposition took place at SM Megamall Event Center in Manila on May 6th and 7th, leaving a resounding impact on both participants and the communities they serve.
JB Tan, Executive Director of iVolunteer, expressed, “We’re thrilled to witness the overwhelming response from Filipinos who heeded the call to #DiscoverNew and #GoVolunteer.” “This remarkable turnout sends a clear message that volunteers are eager to make a difference and contribute their time, talents, or resources for the betterment of others.”
Now in its third installment, the Go! Volunteer Expo in Manila showcased an array of booths representing diverse nonprofit organizations, each dedicated to various advocacies such as hunger and poverty alleviation, community development, children and youth, education, and environment and disaster response. Attendees were immersed in an engaging experience, completing tasks like biking for a cause, carrying simulated pregnancy weights, decoding words through braille, and participating in an electric connectivity game as part of their digital passports.
Kris Lenaming, an enthusiastic expo volunteer, shared her excitement, saying, “It’s exhilarating to be back in the field, volunteering, especially now that the World Health Organization has declared the pandemic no longer a global emergency. The energy shared among all volunteers is magnified when we have the opportunity to interact face-to-face.”
The event also featured inspiring keynote speeches by iVolunteer Champion 2021 Nor-Ain Mohammad and Mark Napao from Solar Hope, a nonprofit organization focused on sustainable energy. On the first day, iVolunteer introduced its flagship volunteer organization incubator program, the Social Innovation Challenge, inviting aspiring nonprofits to enhance their organizational management and volunteer engagement skills.
Building on the success of the Manila leg, Go! Volunteer Expo is now poised to bring its inspiring platform to Davao, marking its first venture outside the capital. Davaoeño volunteers and nonprofit organizations are eagerly preparing for the upcoming event, scheduled to take place on May 27th and 28th at SM City Davao Annex. The expo promises to assemble the most diverse slate of partner organizations to date, further amplifying the impact of volunteerism in the region.
Royston A. Cabunag, Assistant Vice President for SM Supermalls and SM Cares Program Director for Children & Youth, stated, “SM Cares remains committed to supporting communities by empowering the next generation of leaders and actively involving them as champions of our various advocacies. As the ‘Mall for All,’ we are delighted to serve as a platform for iVolunteer to welcome and unite organizations and volunteers, creating meaningful opportunities for the youth to forge a brighter and more sustainable future for all.”
The Go! Volunteer Expo 2023 is made possible through the generous support of Alaska Milk and Airspeed in partnership with CheQ Systems, Jabra, and The Good Store. The event is proud to be backed by esteemed media partners, including CNN Philippines, Philippine Daily Inquirer, WhenInManila.com, Discover MNL, Wonder, Freebie MNL, and Philippine Star.
SM Cares, the Corporate Social Responsibility arm of SM Supermalls, actively promotes social inclusion and environmental care through various programs. Their advocacies encompass environmental initiatives, support for persons with disabilities, women and breastfeeding mothers, children and youth, and senior citizens, and the SM Bike-friendly initiative.
iVolunteer Philippines, a fully volunteer-powered organization, is dedicated to providing individuals with easy access to volunteering activities that align with their skills, interests, and advocacies. Through the iVolunteer portal, volunteers find fulfilling opportunities while assisting organizations in finding the ideal volunteers to meet their needs.
Engaging in volunteer work offers numerous personal and societal benefits. It broadens horizons, expands perspectives, and cultivates empathy and understanding by exposing volunteers to diverse cultures, challenges, and realities. Through volunteering, individuals gain valuable skills and experiences that enhance personal growth, boost self-confidence, and foster a sense of fulfillment and purpose.
Go! Volunteer expo is a 2-day volunteer exposition happening on May 27-28 at SM City Davao Annex. The most prominent volunteer engagement event in the Philippines, where nonprofits and volunteers meet to match their needs and interests. Watch the highlights of Go! Volunteer Expo 2023 in Manila on their Facebook page here.