#ToyForJoy Project excites kids amid Mayon Volcano eruption

Posted by McJarwin Cayacap | Posted on April 22, 2018
Photo by Ali Vicoy / MANILA BULLETIN

Recently, news of Mayon Volcano erupting and wreaking havoc on its surrounding towns shocked Filipinos all over the world. Located in the Province of Albay, Mayon Volcano has brought one of the worst disasters in the Bicol Region, affecting thousands of families. Public schools became temporary evacuation centers to keep the families safe from the ashfall.


Cramped accommodation

Children would hide under their sheets every time the volcano made a thunder-like roaring sound. They would sleep the nights away as it spewed out ash, gas and lava, and formed dark clouds of smoke. Furthermore, some children showed behaviours that attribute to a trauma known as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD.

Living in an evacuation center can be an arduous experience. I, myself, found it stressful every time I paid a visit to hand some goods and hygiene kits. It wasn’t any easy for the elders and children alike to take. Placed far from their rice farms, parents could not work to feed their families. They relied on packed goods sent by the government and some non-profit organizations.

Photo by Czar Dancel / MANILA BULLETIN

My hope lay in the thought that sending the children toys would probably make them play with friends. Such simple joy could make the experience a little better for them. So, I came up with a project for children to turn away their fears.


#ToyForJoy Project

Reaching out to more evacuation centers, I and other donors were able to give joy to more children. With need as our top priority, we determined a select number of evacuation centers to serve. Truly, it was a relief to see the children delighted about the toys, smiling and thankful for receiving unexpected gifts. Watching them seem not worried about their plight gave me more hope. The disaster would soon be over. Everything will be back to normal. In our simple way, children were let to feel that they can still enjoy life as kids.

First, waves of toys came to select evacuation centers in the town of Camalig through the help of Lions Club International. Then, more waves of toys came to San Jose Elementary School in the town of Malilipot, and San Antonio National High School and Tabiguian Elementary School in Tabaco City in the succeeding weeks.

Many thanks to those who helped me make this project happen: Marissa Torres-Langseth of Humanist Alliance Philippines, International (HAPI), Tita Emmy Vera Cruz, Lion Ross Hardy-Baker of Riverstone and District Lions Club of Australia, and Tita Liz Lee Roa. My thanks also go to Professor Gretchen Millena, Ma’am Jessa, Ma’am Evelyn Volante, and the rest of the teachers who facilitated our visits at different evacuation centers.

“Toys may get destroyed and old, but gratitude seen on every child’s face lingers forever, that they may want to give, too, when they’re older. I always believe that kindness is contagious. You do someone kindness, and he or she looks up to you and makes you an inspiration to pay it forward. So, be still and show kindness wherever you go.”

More and more waves of toys are coming this summertime to select barangays that were affected by the Mayon Volcano eruption.



The Author







Maydeline R. Belir

  • Trailblazer
  • Humanitarian
  • Volunteer for HAPI Bicol

“I stand up for women because they are precious.”

Other good reads...

HUMANISM in a nutshell

Humanism is quite a new concept in the Philippines. A few atheists have been propagating their ignorance about the meaning of humanism. They think humanism is all about giving, charity or humanitarianism. As atheists, they could have done their own research, but, they’d rather paint HAPI a different color of their ignorance. Don’t we want […]

HAPI’s Danielle Hill speaks at the 2016 Asian Humanism conference

  During the 2016 Asian Humanism Conference themed “Old and New: Timeless Solutions to Modern Challenges” held last August 6 and 7, Humanists from across Asia convened at the National Taiwan University in Taipei, Taiwan to discuss Humanism and humanistic values. By Christopher Michael Barredo The event was composed of a multi-national list of speakers and […]

A Bold Move: HAPI Bacolod Joins the Local Youth Development Council of Bacolod City

By Honeybunch Sabete HAPI Membership Officer / HAPI Bacolod Member Youth empowerment is one of HAPI Bacolod’s core priorities. Since the pioneers of HAPI Junior stepped up to be part of HAPI Bacolod, the chapter has been led by young people who are driven with love and passion towards a positive change in our society. […]

A HAPI Teaser of our General Assembly!

Humanism, not religion, is our salvation

Typhoon Ruby is headed our way and already I see dozens of Facebook posts urging people to pray that it will be deflected, for God to spare the country, and so on. If the effectivity of prayers that came before past super typhoons are any indication, I doubt if the results would be any different this time around. Not that […]

“HAPI Kids, HAPI Hearts” Lights Up Faces in Alabang

By Angie DriskellHAPI Jr. Ambassador Valentine’s Day this year was filled with so much love and laughter all because of the children of HAPI Kids Nutrition Camp – Alabang. Through the generosity of Humanist Global Charity, HAPI was able to provide cooking equipment and other items that will be used to continue with the nutrition […]

A HAPI member and Orlando resident reacts to the shooting in Orlando.

My hometown is in grief and shock. By Alex Mendoza Wisner, Orlando Florida What is the real headline and the Root cause? “Americans were killed in Orlando by hatred and religion” Hatred has many forms. The most heartbreaking in this 21st century of modern humanity is a man, motivated by his religion, giving up the one […]

Scroll to Top