More than one hundred members of the Relief Society Organization of the Cagayan de Oro Philippines Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has again proved that indeed “Charity Never Faileth”. On the bright Saturday morning of March 9, 2013, sisters trooped to St. Joseph Golden Home Foundation, a home for the elderly located at Clemente Fernandez St. Nazareth, Cagayan de Oro City.
The foundation was organized by the spouses of senators spearheaded by Mrs. Violeta C. Drilon in September 5, 2003. It is an institution for the homeless, indigent, abandoned, and unattached older men and women ages 65 and above who are in need of attention and care.
In 2005, Archbishop Emeritus Jesus Tuquib of the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro took in the position as Chairman of the Board of Directors. The foundation has been in existence for over 8 years now and there are about 11 elderlies that are currently accommodated and all of them are being cared for by volunteer caregivers.
Ms. Gemma Mercado, one of the caregivers has expressed her gratitude for the visit and she said that these elderlies could really use some tender loving care as they have been abandoned for quite some time and some hasn’t been visited by their immediate families since they were taken in by the home.
It is also interesting to note that St. Joseph Golden Home Foundation operates on donations coming from the local people of Cagayan de Oro and its benefactors, part of which is the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro. According to Sister Bernadette Periodico who is the SJGHF Administrator, generous hearts contribute to the effective operation of the foundation. Generous benefactors include the Xavier University Student Community Services, a fish dealer from Bulua, Cagayan de Oro City (he has been delivering fish three times a week to the home for the elderly for quite some time now), and then there are others.
The Relief Society sisters from the 5 Wards and 1 Branch of the Cagayan de Oro Philippines Stake each presented “Kundiman” songs (love songs) that have brought the elderlies to their feet and to everybody’s delight, some elderlies danced and sang along, making all the hearts of the people in the room full of joy.
A Bone Density Scan or DXA by MSD Pharma was also conducted through the effort of Dr. Sue Celle T. Saavedra, a Rheumatologist and member of the Carmen Ward. The machine operated by MSD Pharma’s Medical Technician Franco Echaluce identifies risks for bone loss and risks for future bone fracture which is usually the problem for older people. The test is beneficial for adults 40 years old and older; thus, providing great help for the 11 elderlies in the home.
Along with this service, the Cagayan de Oro Stake Relief Society also brought food, adult diapers, detergent bars, medicines and vitamins as part of their donation to SJGHF.
The community service turned out to be a learning experience for everybody present; not a single person left without a smile on their faces. It provided for an avenue to look into life’s in-depth perspective that life is a journey and it is how we live it that makes it all worthwhile, white hair and wrinkles included.
This article is written by Dorothy Jane who is also a member of the Relief Society Organization.