“The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.”
– Coretta Scott King
Last April, a local entrepreneur in the Philippines, who wanted to help people in her community affected by the pandemic, set up a bamboo cart along Maginhawa Street in Quezon City. She filled it with packed goods including rice, vegetables, canned goods, and other daily essentials to start a community pantry that aims to provide free food and other necessities for people in need. In a span of a little less than a month, this little act of kindness sparked a movement of mutual aid across the country.
It had gone viral across all social media platforms from its first day as it depicted the essence of the Filipino culture, “Bayanihan” or “community spirit”.
The idea behind the community pantry was that people could take as much as they need and donate whatever they can. The simplicity of this community-driven concept paved the way for other people to do the same, resulting in the rapid emergence of community pantries all over the Philippines, and inspiring even people from different countries.
Booth & Partners Gives Back to the Community
When Booth & Partners heard the news about the community pantries, the management team started to think of ways to help. We looked for channels to show our support from within our company and asked around if we have employees who are a part of community pantries we can course our donation to. We learned that two of our team members were volunteering at the respective community pantries in their area and we immediately reached out to them to extend a helping hand.
One of the beneficiaries of Booth & Partners’ initiative is the Sampiro Community Pantry in Plaza Cristo Rey, Poblacion, Makati City in which Bea Gabriel, one of our Talent Acquisition Specialists, was one of the main drivers.
Bea Gabriel in Sampiro Community Pantry together with other volunteers.
The other community pantry that benefited from B&P’s initiative is the Rolling Community Pantry in Barangay Ipil 1, Silang, Cavite where Apple Ramos, our Senior Customer Service Associate, is a volunteer. It was founded by the citizens living in their barangay and the volunteers were also mostly from their area.
A volunteer repacking goods for Rolling Community Pantry
If most community pantries are set up along the streets with a dedicated space, Barangay Ipil 1’s concept is unique. They placed it in an automobile, hence the name “Rolling”, to enable them to visit one place to another. They thought of reaching out to people in different places, as many as possible.
The Rolling Community Pantry shares a common goal with all other community pantries—to help families and individuals affected by the pandemic provide food at their table.
On their first rollout, they got donations from humble farmers in Quezon that filled their pantry with locally produced vegetables. Since the donations were consistent, their rollout became weekly. They used the donation funds from Booth & Partners to purchase rice and other essential goods for their community pantry.
Apple Ramos with the repacked goods for the Rolling Community Pantry
Although there were challenges like the gloomy weather, it was still a success, especially that they were able to help a lot of families. Most of the beneficiaries of the goods were persons differently-abled, senior citizens, and tricycle drivers.
Volunteers and beneficiaries of Rolling Community Pantry
We Apple was asked about her thoughts on Booth & Partners’ initiative to donate to community pantries. She undoubtedly said, “Since the beginning, Booth & Partners has always been generous in all aspects.”
Grateful for being B&P’s instrument to give back to the community by reaching out to the people whose livelihood got affected by the pandemic, Apple is looking forward to participating in more community projects by Booth & Partners.
Compassion and Kindness Knows No Borders
The spirit of compassion and kindness was like a domino effect. That’s why when one of our valued clients, Peak Design, heard about it, they were moved by this story and extended their help all the way from San Francisco, California. With their help, we were able to purchase 13 sacks of rice and other essential goods for the Arezzo Place Pasig community pantry where one of our employees under their campaign is a volunteer.
With the Arezzo Place Pasig’s team together with coordination from Booth & Partners and the humble donation from Peak Design, we were able to help many families and individuals in need. That’s exactly what the power of collective action can do.
Truly, compassion and kindness knows no borders. As for Booth & Partners, our initiative to donate is just one of our ways to support our employees as well as the communities we serve.
And If there are things that the COVID-19 pandemic taught us, it’s the fact that no matter what challenges will come to us, we will keep on surviving and creating awesome things as a team and as a community.