#MasksForACause By Fae Maaliw

We can’t deny the fact that we are all affected by this COVID-19 pandemic. People have been infected, risk their lives, and lost their jobs. The last couple of months was hard for everyone, but I’ve chosen to find hope amidst the pandemic.

Many countries are struggling and facing an economic crisis, including my beloved Philippines. Since late April, I’ve been wanting to make masks to donate to the Philippines, but ECQ made it hard for me to look for materials for my supposed project. In late May, I decided to do a little passion project (#MasksForACause) instead, wherein I will create and sell masks and I will donate 50% of the proceeds to the emergency relief funds in the Philippines. But God was telling me something else. I always start my day reading a daily devotion from my book The Confident Woman Devotional: 365 Daily Inspirations by Joyce Meyer, and for three consecutive days my devotions were all about using one’s skills and abilities to make a change. I want to share with you the prayers at the end of every devotion (if you have the book, you can check them out):

May 26: “Lord, I will use my gifts to make my small part of the world a better place today. I ask for Your help and strength to do this.”

May 27: “Lord, You used people of all ages throughout the Bible, and You can use me. Today is a new day, and I am excited about what You have for me to accomplish. Amen.”

May 28: “Lord, help me to reach out to those who are in need around me, and do what I can do for them. Help me to confront what’s wrong and have the perseverance to overcome it. Amen.”

And that’s when I decided to donate 100% of the proceeds to Covid-19 emergency relief in the Philippines. I wanted to help without having or asking anything in return. It’s just amazing how God works in mysterious ways, and I am so blessed that He used me as an instrument of His works.

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Early June, when we were no longer in lockdown, I finally decided to get and buy the materials that I need for this project. I already did my research when we were on lockdown, so it was easier for me to identify which fabric, or materials are suitable for the masks. I also research for the best patterns for the fitted masks, do some modifications and made the trials before selling them. I wanted to make sure that I’ll make the best masks for everyone, and satisfy them, aside from just raising some money for the Philippines.

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The first and the second batch orders went smooth, and I’ve made a total of 108 masks for the two batches. I was so happy because that’s a lot already and we can help a lot of people already. Never did I think that when I publish the designs for the third batch (last batch), more orders will come. The number of orders were insane! I managed to do 68 orders, a total of 203 masks! I really pushed myself to finish everything as fast as I can. I worked overtime everyday, and I worked even on Sundays to the point that my sewing machine can’t handle my hard working self anymore. Lol. But nevertheless, it was fulfilling and it makes my heart so happy <3

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I was able to raise a total of 930€ (approximately Php 51,000) for my fellow Filipinos in the Philippines. Originally, I planned to just donate the money to an organization, but my family suggested to donate relief goods instead, so we are sure that we can really extend the help to people. So I decided to just divide the money and donate to the two places closer to my heart, Bilogbilog and Lucban. I immediately contacted my aunt and my uncle to help me plan out the distribution of the goods. I am so blessed to have a supportive and helpful family for we were able to do it well.

In Lucban, my family helped me buy and repack some grocery. They were able to repack 50 bags of grocery packages that were distributed to 50 selected households.

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We were able to share free merienda for eveyone at Navotas as well!

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In Batangas, we were able to distribute 148 sacks of rice (5kg each) to 42 frontliners and 106 selected households.

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I am so glad that we were able to execute it well. Of course with the help of my family, I was able to extend my help to the others. I was literally crying for two consecutive days because I cannot contain my happiness upon seeing the photos from my aunt & uncle. I just love to see smiles on everybody’s faces even with their masks on. I’m kilig!

Helping other people is super satisfying. Until now, I still cannot express how I feel. It’s true that you don’t have to be rich to be able to help other people because you can always think of some other ways to do it. Whether it’s a fund raising, or a little prayer, it’s still a help and it can have a big impact to someone else’s life :)

I am also happy to receive random messages from people telling me how big my heart is and how inspiring I am, but I wouldn’t be able to do it without your help :) And for that, I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to the following:

  • First and foremost, to God Almighty, for the gift You’ve given me. I was able to use it to do good deeds. I can’t seem to express how I feel, but my heart is full because of You. Thank You for the strength and Your guidance. Thank You for showing me my purpose <3
  • To my family, for the never-ending support. I am really grateful to have you as my support system. Thank you for cheering me up when I feel tired and weak.
  • To my significant other for helping me buy the materials when I need them, and never gets tired of my hundreds of favors.
  • To my friends all over the world who helped me with this project, who shared the news and helped me deliver the masks. Thank you so much.
  • To my friends and strangers who supported me silently, and prayed for me.
  • To the people who availed the masks, donated and contributed to this project, thank you! We made it together. We helped a lot of people.
  • To everyone, thank you so much from the bottom of my heart. You gave me the sense of fulfillment that cannot be compared to any material things.

For now we have to accept and practice the “new normal,” but regardless of the situation, let us not forget to educate ourselves with what’s happening in the world. Let us pray for one another, and pray for this pandemic to be over. As you read this blog post, I am hoping that you are safe and okay. Always remember to wash your hands and (still) wear masks! Let us hope for the best! :) God bless everyone!

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