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Woods and Books donate books to the Western Visayas Medical Center pediatric ward

We thought we had a simple, straightforward dream. Someday, we’d like to build a public children’s library within an accessible area of green space in Iloilo City where children can read and play.

We never thought that our journey to the library would take us through a pediatric ward!

Book and bed

Book and bed. Young patient with his mother and a Woods and Books donated book.

One September afternoon, Woods and Books volunteer, Ai, did the rounds with The Good Samaritan Volunteers, a non-government organization serving children and their families at the Western Visayas Medical Center in Mandurriao, Iloilo City.

“Their goal is to help out with prescription medicines and, on the side, they do story telling and art activities to make children happy while in the hospital,” says Ai.

The Samaritans are mostly senior citizens, many of whom are retired Paulinian nurses who’ve lived half their lives in the US and have chosen to retire in the Philippines. Fortunately for the children of Iloilo’s public provincial hospital, the volunteers’ energy and passion to help and heal still brightly burn.

Woods and Books donate toy

Beanie and baby. A Good Samaritan hands over a toy to a young patient.

Volunteer Ai learned that the Good Samaritans needed art materials and storybooks, so off she went to purchase the crayons and coloring books herself and loaded some donated books into her bag of goodies as well.

The Good Samaritans visit the pediatric ward every Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday afternoon, bringing with them donated materials and deep compassion to cheer on the children and their families. Not only do the Good Samaritans provide financial aid for medicines and laboratory expenses, they also offer spiritual support, health teaching, arts and crafts, and storytelling. Woods and Books donated some books and toys on this particular visit.

Woods and Books volunteer Ai and the recipients.

Hard to tell who’s happier here, Woods and Books volunteer Ai, or the recipients.

“There were about 35 children in the pedia ward at that time, mostly infants.  We distributed books and toys to the children and I couldn’t describe the feeling I had when I saw that the kids were more than happy to receive a book and a toy,” says elated Ai. “The Good Samaritans lack the resources for books and art materials; their funds are strictly for medicines.  So, this is where Woods and Books can be a partner in the future.  As a start, our few donations were a BIG help!”

And, if that wasn’t enough of an example of Woods and Books taking the road less travelled, volunteer Ai turned up at another gathering of children in need, this time with the KKK: Kaibigan ng mga Kabataang may Kanser (Friends of Children with Cancer), another non-government organization that serves children.

Woods and Books

Never too young to serve. (l-r) KKK volunteer psychiatrist, Dr. Socorro Martinez, KKK founding director, and Woods and Books volunteer Akim, standing witness to the “hand-over ceremony”.

KKK provides free chemotherapy and bi-monthly activities such as story telling, painting, and field trips to cheer up the kids who can’t go to school due to their condition.  The books are stationed at the hospitals to be used by children who undergo chemotherapy sessions.

Donated books from SoCal

From SoCal, with love.

Our Woods and Books donation coincided with a clown show sponsored by the KKK at the Iloilo Medical Society offices. We only hope that, even for just a few moments, our books brought just as much joy and relief as the clown did, to children battling cancer every day.

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