Special Report on the Economy

Celebrities for children: Race for Hope

True to its vision of “life in all its fullness” for every Filipino child, World Vision launched ‘Celebrities for Children: Race for Hope’ last April. The campaign aims to acquire child sponsors with the help of celebrity challengers. The campaign recently culminated with a thanksgiving event at Annabel’s Restaurant in Quezon City on October 29.

The champions of children. (From left): World Vision Interim national director Minnie Portales, Miriam Quiambao, Cristalle Belo Henares, former World Vision sponsored child Richard Supat and World Vision associate director Jun Godornes. 
TV host Christine Bersola-Babao, entrepreneur Cristalle Belo Henares, movie and TV actress Anne Curtis and beauty queen Miriam Quiambao were among the celebrities who responded to the call and accepted the challenge.

The celebrities had to “race” to get the most sign ups by referring their friends and families to be child sponsors. By the end of the campaign in September, the celebrities collectively referred sponsors for 189 children.

“When I heard about this [challenge], I said ‘yes’ right away. I’ve been a long-time ambassador for World Vision and I believe in that sponsorship can really uplift the lives of poor children, being a child sponsor myself,” said Miriam Quiambao. She started sponsoring a child after clinching first runner up in the 1999 Miss Universe beauty pageant. Now, she is a proud sponsor of 10 children, three of whom have already graduated.

Quiambao, now also a motivational speaker, shared that she would allot 10 to 15 minutes in her seminars to discuss child sponsorship to her audience. By the end of the campaign, Quiambao emerged victorious with 82 sponsored children.

For TV host and celebrity mom Tintin Babao, sponsorship is a family affair. The Babaos sponsor four children—one for each member of their family. “We teach our kids the value of sharing our blessing. We even turn their birthdays into charity events,” she shared.

World Vision encourages everyone to sponsor and help uplift the lives of underprivileged Filipino children. (Photo from worldvision.org.ph)
“Masarap naman talagang tumulong. Being able to help a child is a gift—there is a price for sponsorship, yes. But the fulfillment of making a difference in the life of a child, that is priceless,” she added.

Meanwhile, Cristalle Henares, a known entrepreneur-philanthropist, said it has been her dream to help send kids to school. Her campaign slogan had been “300 at 30”, signifying her mission to find sponsors for 300 kids for her 30th year. She said she will continue getting sponsors for children even after the campaign is over.

For her part, popular TV host and actress Anne Curtis said she was excited to be part of the challenge.

“Anything that has to do with children, I’m game!” she shared. Curtis, a mainstay of a noontime variety show, was able to get her co-hosts and other celebrities to sign up as child sponsors.

“This event is to recognize our celebrity sponsors for their selfless commitment in our ministry for the children. These four women have reinforced the fact that beauty is reflected in the abundance and overflow of a person’s heart,” said World Vision Associate director Jun Godornes.


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