Suntrust Shanata Homeowners Showcase “Malasakit” by Initiating Community Pantry
Since the original idea of a community pantry took place in Maginhawa, Quezon City, it has touched the hearts of many Filipinos, resulting in an upsurge of many more community pantry versions coming out of each community around the country.
Some opened up for the benefit of a whole barangay, some are initiated by church, groups, and neighborhood. Following this good influence, residents and homeowners at Suntrust Shanata, a condominium community in Quezon City, opened up its doors for those in need, giving and offering goods where people from inside and outside their neighborhood can come by and get goods for free.
Inspired by the original tagline of the first community pantry in Maginhawa, “Magbigay ayon sa kakayahan, kumuha batay sa pangangailangan”, the Suntrust neighborhood staged tables under the gazebo to serve as the community’s pantry. Sunrays Property Management, Inc. (SPMI), including the security personnel, helped the residents in controlling the crowd and organizing the pantry. Because of the residents’ naturally kind heart and genuine love of giving, the community pantry happened not only once, but twice. The first one targeted their neighbors outside the community, and the second wave of the pantry aimed on helping their own neighborhood’s staff --the construction workers, security staff, admin, maintenance workers, and the like, as their way of gratitude for keeping their homes safe and secured at all times.
Various goods were donated to the organizers of the community pantry, including vegetables such as eggplant, sayote, sweet potatoes, eggs, sacks of rice, canned goods, instant noodles, coffee packs, biscuits, and many more. The tables they laid out are hardly enough to hold all the goods, and plenty of people and residents from outside their neighborhood received enough groceries.
The second wave of community pantry was set up inside the clubhouse, and like the first one, many residents shared rice, canned goods and noodles, fruits and vegetables, milk and coffee, and surgical face masks. No packed goods went to waste, because after all workers inside the neighborhood were equally given donations, some of the excess packed bags were then donated to the barangay.
According to one of the active organizers who is also a proud Shanata homeowner, Ricky Ramos, the community pantry started on April 25, held at the Suntrust Gazebo. He and fellow homeowner Joan Heroza initiated the drive, involving Shanata homeowners who are willing to share. The group first targeted beneficiaries outside the neighborhood, mostly tricycle drivers, street vendors, unemployed citizens, security guards, construction workers around the area, and the like. Then just recently, they opened another pantry for the community staff.
“All of us homeowners, staff, and neighbors outside Shanata benefited from the activity. It is a symbol of responsibility, generosity, and apostolic deeds,” Ricky shared.
The packing of goods for the community pantry was held inside the community clubhouse. While practicing social distancing protocols, the group coordinated with Brgy. Talipapa, and SPMI, and through the collaboration of homeowners, utility workers, security guards, volunteers, and SPMI personnel themselves, they spent nights packing goods that were given in kind by the community’s residents.
“This act of giving made me feel more blessed as I was able to share what I have, even the simplest of things, to those who needed it more,” shared to us by Wilbert Ayque, also a Shanata homeowner.
Meanwhile, Boyet Bernal, explained that he joined the donors because he wanted to show other people that in these trying times, we all need to fight together in this battle. “It made me realize that this is an opportunity for me to serve others in my own little way. Me joining the community pantry is my way to thank life that I am still strong, alive, and healthy, and that I should manifest these blessings to others too,” he enthused.
Apart from the community pantry, Suntrust Shanata homeowners have also proven they are always ready to help when they initiated a donation drive for Typhoon Ulysses victims last November. And, another Suntrust project in Manila, Suntrust Parkview, has recently opened its doors for their neighbors too, for another community pantry. Truly, one’s help really goes a long way