Caritas is a Latin word meaning loving or caring. It is also synonymous to charity. I first heard about Caritas during Holy Weeks in my childhood. Since it was rare to have cable TV yet and there's no internet, we are settled with what are being shown from Maundy Thursday to Black Saturday.
The commercial breaks were replaced by a long presentation of Caritas Manila. Since then, I began to appreciate the mission of Caritas Manila. I always knew where it was located and I always pass the vicinity when I still live in Pandacan, Manila. But I never got to enter the premises until recently.
After being oriented, we proceeded to the tour of the Caritas Manila. In this manner, we were able to see how Caritas Manila operates for their charity program. We entered one of their warehouses that are full of second hand stuff from residential or commercial establishment.
You can buy it at a cheaper price and some items are considered rare like the old fashioned dining table and chairs made of narra. This area is like a pickers' haven. What could have been other person's trash may be other person's treasure.
Our next stop was the Charity Store were all the newer stuff are being sold. Most of the items there are really affordable. Most of them are from the unsold stocks donated like the clothes from a popular department store. You can even buy a nice wrist watch(without battery) for only twenty pesos.
The Charity Store also sells original products like soaps, fabric conditioner,etc. from the livelihood programs of the community. By buying these products, you are also helping out the community. Part of the livelihood program is recycling products greeting cards etc.
We also get to see the other storage facility/warehouse were all the donated goods are being sorted out in two areas. One area for commercial use and the other is for household. Caritas Manila also has a marketing arm named Margins, which is the carrying label of all homemade livelihood products.
Since the preparations for holiday rush is now starting, this would be a better place to get something you need to buy. Caritas Manila will be extending their operations in a mall namely the Buy and Give Expo. This will be held in Ayala Trinoma Mall's Activity Area were the livelihood products will be showcased as well as the accepting of donations. The duration of the Buy and Give Expo will be from November 29 to December 1.
Buying from and donating to Caritas is not the only way to get involved. You can also volunteer your time and talent if you have a heart for mission work and by spreading the word out. You can start with sharing this blog. To get more information about Caritas Manila's mission, here are the contact details from their website.