Making This Christmas Special for Urban Poor Families
November 25, 2022

Dear friends and family,Can I ask a personal question?How much do you estimate you will spend on Christmas gifts for your family this year? (...Ok, no need to reply, but just think about it for a moment)We want you to challenge you (and ourselves!) to match that amount and donate it so that families in urban poverty can also enjoy gifts for their children, groceries for the family, and a safe, fun kids party (with COVID protocols in place).Please click here to learn more about how you can make this holiday season incredibly special for another family in poverty with every donation of just $50 (donors receive a tax deductible receipt). Let's challenge ourselves to help as many families as possible to reach our overall target of 200 families (by raising $10,000).Thank you so much for your compassion this Christmas season!

The children and families who we hope to bless through this Christmas fundraiser are not just randomly selected. They are the families we visit regularly in our target communities, the children who attend our daycare, the sponsor kids whom our supporters send to school, and the underprivileged youth coming to our drop-in center for after-school tutorials, mentoring, and homework assistance.Recently, we brought the youth on an educational field trip to a place called Fort Santiago in Manila. The fort is one of the most important historical sites in Manila. Several Filipinos died in its prisons during the Spanish Empire and World War II. Dr. Jose Rizal, the most celebrated national hero of the Philippines, was imprisoned at Fort Santiago before his execution by a firing squad of Spanish soldiers in 1896. Rizal (a brilliant writer, ophthalmologist, surgeon, children's educator, and even farmer) was martyred for writing subversive fictional novels that painted the Spanish colonizers in a bad light and subtly encouraged the Filipino people to stand up against Spanish rule. His martyrdom spurred a revolution that led to the Philippines regaining its independence.

Dr. Jose Rizal once said, "Without education and liberty, which are the soil and the sun of man, no reform is possible, no measure can give the result desired."

Rizal was a proponent of education for all, which is another reason why we celebrate him at IT Tender. We're also incredibly thankful to have formed new partnerships with other educational institutions such as the Dualtech Training Center, located just a short distance from our drop-in center. We brought our youth on a tour of their facility, and many of our students are interested in the electromechanics technology course provided by Dualtech's vocational school. One of IT Tender's sponsor children has already enrolled and completed the in-class component of the course. John will now enjoy his on-the-job training with a significant salary at a local company that partners with the school.

The young people at IT Tender are grateful for the many options we can now provide in terms of post-secondary courses, universities, and scholarships. As beneficial as a higher education can be, the foundation of an early education for young children is crucial. In preschool, we begin forming dreams of who we can become and what we can do when we grow up. This is why we are so excited that, after a two-year suspension of all preschool classes (due to the pandemic and a government mandate), we have finally resumed operations of our early childhood programs (with classes for toddlers ages 1-3 and for preschoolers ages 4-5).

Thank you so much for reading our newsletter, and thank you for all your compassionate support! Below are the current prayers and praises of our team in Manila.

- The Tender Team

  • We need to raise $10,000 for 200 children and youth to attend our Christmas party and to provide groceries for their families; please click here to give to make this Christmas a very memorable one for families in the slums of Manila (donors receive a tax deductible receipt)
  • We are applying for a new accreditation for our preschool with the local government that may allow our head teacher to receive a salary paid by the government; pray with us as we apply for this new accreditation
  • We were able to add 50 new sponsor children to our program over the last year; we're incredibly excited to add another 50 or more in 2023!
  • After our staff attended a number of summits and trainings regarding the protection of children from online sexual abuse and exploitation (a big problem in the Philippines and even globally), IT Tender has been invited to join an international network of organizations committed to addressing this issue through preventative measures and safeguards; we are also working alongside International Justice Mission to help protect our children and communities from online sexual abuse