Over the course of the previous five years, we had done several different types of outreaches but the ones we were particularly drawn to were in the arena of education. So this trip was very special for us as an organization as it was dual purpose. One, we wanted to do our largest outreaches ever in more rural communities, and two, we wanted to discover what we could do to partner with schools in a more permanent way moving forward. This was also our first trip as a family, and our first trip traveling with a team of people.
Nearly 14 months before the trip, we had decided to set a goal of providing 1,000 Family Packs (filled with towels, blankets, rice, and canned goods), 3,000 pairs of slippers/flip flops to children and adults, and school supplies to 2 separate elementary schools. We quickly realized that this would by far be the largest outreaches we had ever done, and not only would we need all hands on deck, we would need to raise nearly 5 times more money than we had ever raised in a single year. Once again, we had the privilege to be fully supported by the current mayor of Botolan and her staff, who helped to coordinate supply delivery, and assembly of the family packs, as well as providing meals to the most remote village during the outreach. We are forever indebted to our parents, Jim and Tessie Ebalo, for coordinating all of these things on the ground in the Philippines, as truly, this event would not have been able to happen if it weren’t for them and their dedication to supporting us and the mission of the Sum of One.
Thanks to your generosity, we were able to deliver all 1,000 Family Packs, 3,000 pairs of slippers/flip-flops, AND provide school supplies for 3 elementary schools! We estimated that 5,000-7,000 people in all were reached in some way through the outreaches that were held over the course of 3-4 days.