1000 Bearhugs Project: A staggering success!
Makati City - To kick-start the year, Black Pencil Project together with Climbed Against Cancer founder Nini Andrada Sacro launched the 1000 Hugs Project to help children of typhoon-stricken Cagayan De Oro and Iligan City cope up with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Last December, massive flood rummage low-lying villages, and claimed hundreds of lives in Northern Mindanao. Inspired by Cathy S. Babao's A Thousand Bears for Bicol last 2006 for Albay typhoon victims, a collaboration was formed through social media Facebook. The project was name A Thousand Bearhugs Project and soon start campaigning to collect 1000 teddy bears that will be shipped and used during debriefing and therapy workshops of local counterparts like Rural Missionaries of the Philippines, Ginhawa Tent and Hope Worldwide Philippines.
The result was staggering, at the end of the project we gathered 6000 toys from individuals, families, schools, hospitals, companies from the Philippines and abroad. That's 6x the number of the original number we wish to collect.
Most notable outcome was the participation of 7-year old Australian-American girl named Bronte who's parents are visiting Manila for an international film production. Her YouTube video appealing for toys from her friends went viral and collected at least 3,000 teddy bears and plushies from countries like Australia and United States..
There were so many toys that we were able to extend the program to survivor children of Guihulngan and La Libertad in Negros Oriental that was shocked by magnitude 6.5 earthquake in February, a month after the massive floorings in Northern Mindanao.
"Black Pencil Project core programs are seasonal in nature but over the years, we have developed awareness programs in response to multi-sectoral humanitarian relief drives particularly during calamities. In the past, we've done Pencil Drives and Tees of Hope for Typhoon Ondoy, Paddle To Care for typhoon-stricken Kalinga province. It shows that we've graduated from just giving out pencils" say Mon Corpuz, BPP Program Director
"1000 Bearhugs was successful because of the outpour of support garnered from collection to distribution. Everyone was so inspired and excited, even our driver!" recalls Nina Sacro, founder of Climb Against Cancer. Sacro since January, scoured Metro Manila to ferry teddy bears and plushies from various collection points.
It's inspiring to hear the stories that came along with the bears and that makes the project even more special. "1000 Bearhugs facilitated thousand of ordinary people to help typhoon victims in their most personal way" Corpuz added.
A 1000 Hugs Project featured by the Philippine Daily Inquirer - March 11, 2012
A 1000 Hugs Project featured by Manila Bulletin - March 5, 2012