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Saturday, February 15, 2014

A Box, A Dream, & A Wonderful Wish

"If there is one thing you could give to the Philippines, what is that gift?"

Now, my Ms. Universe answer would be 'World Peace', but then, I'm no Ms. Universe. Instead, I'm an artsy-fartsy-craftsy, tree-huggin', shoe-lovin' kind of girl with a bit of time on my hands.

So, if there was one thing I can give to my country, it would be to grant a lil' old box a wish. 

(Uh, say what?)

Yep, you read right. I would like to grant a box a wish

Now, this box is no ordinary box (well, actually, it used to be). This box has extraordinary dreams. It dreams of going to faraway places and putting smiles into people's faces. 

He is The Happy Kahon

And this is how The Happy Kahon came to be...

Once there was a little box,
With a pair of friends (and sometimes a sock).
His friends, Mr. Left & Mrs. Right, would often leave for hours. Or days. Or even a week or two.
They would always come home with tales that would make him go "Oooh".
Alas, after a few years or so,
This pair, his friends, they had to go.
For after much treading that caused turmoil to Mrs. Right,
Mr. Left just couldn't survive from her plight.
And so the little box was left all alone,
Tucked away in a dusty, old corner at home.
He thought to himself, "What am I to do? This void, this emptiness that I feel?
Is this the end? Is this for real?"
Months did pass with only dust mites as company,
He was sad. Forlorn. And as grumpy as can be.
For this little box missed all the stories, you see,
Of how big, how wonderful this world could be.
Then one day, he felt all the cobwebs scatter,
"What now?", he wondered, his heart all aflutter.
A hand dusted off the dirt on his head,
"You'll do just fine, you will", and off they sped.
The next thing he knew, as he felt a tickle on his head,
Little hands were carefully brushing-- something glittery, something red.
Fluffy pompoms adorned what was once a plain lid,
Polka dotted and cheery, he felt like a kid!
Then after some time, as he laid out to dry,
He met some new friends who came to say "Hi".
How exciting, he thought, wishes DO come true,
A toy, a pencil, a cookie, just to name a few.
"Well, hello there", they called, all cramped to the hip,
"Are you ready to go on this wonderful trip?"
A trip? A trip!!! Then the box realized,
Maybe that's why I am dressed to the nines!
So after a prayer, a song and a dance,
Two grubby tiny hands had gotten their chance.
"Salamat po!", he heard a grateful voice say,
And those two simple words just completed his day.
For the little empty box, once a desolate soul,
Is now a fulfilled and proud Happy Kahon. :)

Last Christmas, armed with glue, paint, and a bunch or arts & craft materials, my friends and I were able to grant The Happy Kahon's wish and made a few little kids (and big-hearted kids) mighty proud and crafty with backyard arts and crafts sessions. These boxes were filled with essentials like toothbrushes, towels, school supplies, and goodies like snacks and small toys. Then we trooped over to Concordia Children's Services orphanage and made even more kids happier by gifting them with these awesome Happy Kahons! (Actually, truth be told, it was the kids from Concordia who gave us the bigger dose of holiday happiness.)

Have a Jolly, Crafty Christmas

Starting 'em young! Crafting a Happy Kahon for a cause.

Happy Kahons all in a row. Ready to spread the love!

The Happy Kahons putting big smiles on these kids' faces
during the Christmas party and turnover to the kids from Concordia Children's Services.

This year though, The Happy Kahon is dreaming big! It wants to hold a bigger arts & crafts session with more friends, friends of friends, and soon-to-be friends alike. With rows and rows of shoe boxes and craft materials to keep busy with for hours of bonding fun, serenaded with live music to keep everyone in high spirits (and maybe a refreshing mojito or two. haha. Kidding, that's just me!). Then it wants to travel all the way to typhoon-ravaged Tacloban or Ormoc in Leyte to make even more kids happier. Or maybe the kids from hard hit Bohol might need some too. A new school year is coming up, and hundreds of Happy Kahons filled with school supplies and yummy snacks would be great! 

Oh, Happy Kahon, what big dreams you have! But with the help of #GLOBEProjectWonderful2014, maybe, just maybe, this dream of yours can come true.

What about you? Do you have any dreams for the Philippines this 2014? Drop me a line in the comments below, and who knows, your dream might just come true! Or maybe just get a super nice surprise! ;)

P.S. Dear Universe, I'll be crossing my fingers and toes for good measure!
P.P.S. Add The Happy Kahon on Facebook for updates! Click here.

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