Category Archives: charity

EL Hannora Thrift Shop: The Joy of Giving 2014 Part 2

Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good spirit lead me on level ground.

    Psalms 143:10 NIV

Christmas! Is always the time of the year when gift giving is abundant and people tend to forget the mundane of life. All of us are busy thinking the presents that we wanted to give to our family, friends, and loved ones. Christmas is about rejoice and joy, it’s about renewal and gratitude.

Most often, when you are hit with emotional downturn especially when its financial struggle, you always feel that you are the minutest creature of God. You often accuse God of forgetting your existence. When it’s emotional struggle, let’s accept it, its the time that we are very selfish. It’s all about ‘me’ and ‘me’ and ‘me’.

You must not forget, that no matter how low you feel, there’s always a community of people lower than you. If you are sleeping in your home, there are people sleeping in the street. If you’re meal only consist of rice and vegetables, there are people who needs to beg so that they can eat. If you cannot afford to buy shoes, there are people who doesn’t even wear slippers because they can’t afford to. If you can eat 3 meals a days and still complain, remember there are families and people who only eat 1 meal and the rest are nothing but water.

While you are being selfish and look inwardly on yourself, while you blind yourself on egocentric behavior yet you are blessed by God in so many ways… There exist families and people needing your blessings and help.

Last December 2014, me and my husband finally had the privileged to contribute to Philippine One Step Organization. Portion of EL Hannora Thrift Shop’s earnings were distributed to couple of outreach programs in The Philippines. We’ve supported the RVM outreach program by my good friend Bonna. The other outreach program is conducted by Philippine One Step Organization through the cousin of my college best friend and a very good friend, Ms. Charlyn Chua.

Philippine One Step is a non-profit organization with the aim of helping people and families in various ways they can. They consist of volunteers with the main goal of reaching out and blessed the less fortunates to share the blessings given by God. Each year, this organization reaches out to different locales and neighborhood in the city of Manila.

Last December 2014, One Step had couple of outreach programs. One of which is the giving of care packages to families and another outreach is to give aid to St. John Dialysis Center.

We give gratitude to One Step for allowing us to contribute in our small ways. Through this organization we were able to reach out to the less fortunates brothers and sisters in Philippines.

Preparing their care packages

Care packages are ready for giving

The outreach program begins

Gift giving

Gift giving

Recipients were waiting in line

Gift giving

Gift giving

Grateful for the blessings

Grateful for the blessings

Happy smiles!

Philippine One Step outreach at St. John Dialysis Center

 All photos in this article were granted permission to use by Philippine One Step Organization. You can reach their Facebook page here.

Thanking God for the strength He gave me and my husband to persevere with our EL Hannora Thrift Shop. Thanking our resellers and buyers as it’s their contribution that we managed to fund and reach out to God’s children.

In Christ.

EL Hannora Thrift Shop: The Joy of Giving 2014 Part 1

 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Matthew 5:16 NIV

In my previous article, Prelude to EL Hannora Thrift Shop, I’ve shared how finding our common ground in marriage can become a tool for God’s vessel to be a blessing to others.

In the fourth quarter of 2014, we managed to have a positive profit for EL Hannora Thrift Shop. It was the Christmas season and we’ve fully decided to blessed the charities and outreach programs regardless of location. However, we do not have any initiatives in particular.

Until I received a Facebook message from my good friend Bonna Reyes. She and her high school batch planned an outreach program at the infirmary of the Religious of Virgin Mary (RVM) congregation.

The Religious of Virgin Mary (RVM) started as a contemplative congregation. Like many contemplatives, the nuns devote their lives inside the convent focused on prayers and worship. Unlike the active congregation, where the nuns are focused on outreached activities, the contemplatives live in cloistered monasteries.

As time grows by, the RVM congregation embraced active duties and ministered schools. One of their alumnae is my good friend Bonna.

After few discussions with my hubby Gnex, we decided to support Bonna’s outreach program in our small way. It was our pleasure that Bonna chosen us to be one of their sponsors for their outreach initiative. Also grateful that Bonna allowed me to use her pictures to cherish the memories.

 

Bonna and her high school batch (Photo credits: Bonna Reyes)

Greetings from RVM infirmary (Photo credits: Bonna Reyes)

Photo credits: Bonna Reyes

Photo credits: Bonna Reyes

Photo credits: Bonna Reyes

Photo credits: Bonna Reyes

In their prayers (Photo credits: Bonna Reyes)

 In the midst of outreach program (Photo credits: Bonna Reyes)

Photo credits: Bonna Reyes

Photo credits: Bonna Reyes

Simple recognition from the hearts (Photo credits: Bonna Reyes)

RVM nuns showing their appreciation (Photo credits: Bonna Reyes)

Who says nuns aren’t cool? (Photo credits: Bonna Reyes)

Photo credits: Bonna Reyes

Photo credits: Bonna Reyes

Photo credits: Bonna Reyes

A big thank you to our resellers and buyers. It is you who made a big part in giving smile to people.

EL Hannora Thrift Shop. 

Shopping with a heart.

Prelude to EL Hannora Thrift Shop

Commit to the Lord whatever you do and He will establish your plans.  Proverbs 16:3 NIV

The first 2-years of marriage, me and my husband Gnex like many married couples have undergone transformations and adjustments. Meaning, we realized our differences in attitudes, way of doing things, careers, outlooks, and a long list… leading to lots of fights.

We’re grateful for our friends, family, and our brothers and sisters from Moriah AG who constantly include us in their daily prayers, being there when we needed a breather.

In the end we realized that… putting God in the center of our marriage is the only way to make things work.

One time, while I was in Kuala Lumpur for business, I’ve asked my mentor and also my business partner how he and his wife made their marriage work? They’re married for 20+ years; there are still fights yet they’re still together.

I wondered and asked myself

“Don’t they get tired?”

And so I got curious how did my mentor made things work.

And he told me this:

“In marriage, you have to accept that both of you are different. You cannot drag your husband to all the things that you want and he cannot drag you to all his ways. It’s a matter of keeping both of your identities. In time, the crazy love that both of you feel while dating leading to marriage will wear off. Both of you will need space to keep identities. You will soon realized that being married – the love and excitement will soon wear off; the gap between the two of you will grow bigger. You have to find that common ground that both of you enjoy. Nurture that common ground and it will hold your marriage. Always give respect with each other and both of you must always remember the boundaries. I believe that’s the essence of keeping the love alive in marriage. Always remember, when the boundaries are forgotten, the sense of respect will die; love will die; marriage will break, like a glass that’s very hard, close to impossible to repair.”

I was stunned.

My mentor is non-believer but at that time I felt that God himself was talking to me.

God will always be there when you need Him the most.

I reflected on what my mentor told me. I combined it with prayers until I received the message of opening a thrift shop dedicated to God. I told my husband about it. We discussed couple of times until I gained his support.

I asked my husband: “So, what would be the name of the thrift shop?”

My husband Gnex: “Since it will be dedicated to God, why not choose from this list.”

He iMessaged me the list of names God is being called. I looked at the long list of names and thought “Wow, God has tons of names – from Jewish, Greek, you name it. My eyes were growing tired.”

Until I saw the name “EL Hannora – it means awesome God.”

I told my husband, “the thrift shop will be called – EL Hannora Thrift Shop.”

Usually, in the business world, you have to first study the market and identify if there are demands. If there are no existing demand, you have to create the demand so you can create the market where you will get the competitive advantage.

In our case, we placed faith above all things. It’s when I understood what really faith is.

After we registered the business, it’s then I realized that God has guided me to use the tools and everything I learned in my study of MBA. My husband’s passion is motivations and preaching Christianity while my passion is business and arts.

EL Hannora thrift shop has become our common ground. When God provided us with our needs, we committed the thrift shop revenues to support charities across the globe.

Business startups has always been challenging. Even our faith based thrift shop were hit with challenges too. We received disheartening and unsupportive comments from fellow Christians. We came to a point that we wanted to give up.  But…

God will always be there when you need Him the most.

While we see our Christian brothers and sisters lack of belief and faith in us, we always remind ourselves that God has given His faith in us. Persevere no matter how tough it is.

We changed our business model. And business started to flow in. We bowed our heads and followed what we believe God is leading us to.

Right now, EL Hannora thrift shop is still thriving. We will continue to persevere. Last 2014, EL Hannora Thrift Shop revenues helped couple of outreach programs in Philippines.

My husband is always supportive of me. And I’m always grateful to God for him. While I searched for that common ground for me and my husband, God made it as a tool for us to discover ourselves, taught us patience, perseverance, hope, faith, and love – the tool for us to reach out to our brothers and sisters regardless of whether they’re Christian or not.

In my next articles, I will be writing The Joy of Giving which will be written in few parts. It will describe how EL Hannora Thrift Shop see the joys and smiles of different people in the times of giving.

Thank you to our resellers and buyers, who supported us all through out the journey. We will always be grateful for your support and hard work.

Til next time. Au revoir.

 

Meal From The Heart

In the spirit of giving, a project was created to provide food to the needy.

A free lunch a day from Monday to Saturday is going to be conducted by the Blessed Sacrament Church. The said lunch a day is freely offered to all the needy regardless of race and religion.

As an act of charity, it would be appreciated for volunteers who will support this Meal From the Heart Project from the Blessed Sacrament Church.

For more information on how you can help, please visit this site:

http://www.bsc.org.sg/event_details.asp?event_id=314

It’s always better to give than to receive.

Til next time. Au revoir.

Helping World Bank Against Nutrition Problems

Each year, there are as many as 3 million mothers and young children die due to malnutrition, according to World Bank’s statistics.

During the recent World Bank meeting, it has been clearly pointed that the world can do better for the world’s hungry children.

The commitment gathered to help combatting the malnutrition problem has been modest with only less than $300 million a year.

Although there are initiatives and framework from World Bank to remediate this problem, the world still needs us.

Here’s the video from World Bank: Investing in Nutrition: Let’s Grow Together.

We can always help the world on our own small ways. I hope this simple post can do greater things by letting all of us known of this problem  and help World Bank in their initiatives against malnutrition.

Citation:

Julia Ross, Scaling Up Nutrition: Remembering the ‘Forgotten MDG’ from World Bank Meetings Center