When calls for volunteers happen, I check my schedule, weigh my priorities, and go blindly when am available. I'm a volunteer, I just show up.
Unfortunately for us, since LATCH moms ARE moms, our kids sometimes get sick. So there I was, Monday morning, shocked because the UNICEF Consultant endorsing us to Sta. Rosa's LGU was asking who's going to step up to be team leader for the day. The hardcore LATCHers were not there and our leaders all had to stay with sick kids. Worse, we didn't check mails during the weekend so we were there with no idea who else was coming and what not.
It turned out, from a group of 7-10 volunteers, we were downsized to 4. In the van, we were all looking at each other wondering how we'll manage since we had no idea really what to expect. But I reminded our group that we are breastfeeding moms and therefore had superpowers.
Due to coordination issues, we were not so efficient that day. We could have gone to two evacuation centers but only managed one. It also didn't help that Sta. Rosa is way over in Laguna. And I am sad to report that only two of the eighteen evacuation centers are not submerged in water still.
But dare I say, we did good on that mission? :)
There were lots of room for improvement. I myself felt I should have emphasized again and again the importance of breastfeeding during calamities, but I felt some sort of disconnect for them because it's been a month already. Their homes, if they can recover them, are expected to remain submerged till December.
But like what I said, we did good on that mission. And I would like to acknowledge the Sta. Rosa Market evacuees because of their cooperation. And the DSWD staff (Jojo) who was really helpful. I am not so fond of the LGU people who assisted us because their 'staff and volunteers' were going over the goodie bags intended for the Mom Evacuees even before we were finished giving to the Moms... some even got from us and then later asked our driver for more.
Oh of course, LATCHers rock!!! It's nice being given an opportunity to step up. I don't even know how effective I am a speaker but at least I realized that I could do it for hours, everyday, and love what am doing. And I know I connected to the crowd somehow...
But yes, prizes like a bar of soap or cooking oil is incentive enough to get anybody participating :)