February 4, 2016

team-asia-2015In the Philippines, the city of Marikina alone produces one hundred and fifty million pairs of shoes every year. That’s one hundred and fifty million shoeboxes hoarded or turned to waste. But what once was discarded has now been transformed into an instrument of hope.

For the past seven years, volunteers from integrated marketing agency TeamAsia, Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP), as well as other industry partners came together to fill thousands of shoeboxes with school supplies for My Dream in a Shoebox Christmas campaign.

Each box is lovingly packed with two notebooks, one pen and pad paper, a box of crayons, an eraser, a ruler, and one bottle of glue. It may not seem much, but for the parents of these children struggling to get by, supporting their child’s future goes a long way.

The 2013 Functional, Literacy, Education, and Mass Media Survey (FLEMMS) reported that 19.2% of the four million underprivileged children are unable to receive education due to poverty. This translates to 1 in every 10 Filipino youth being out of school. My Dream in a Shoebox desires to give these children universal access to education.

It is because of the aspiration to be part of the solution that organizers of My Dream in a Shoebox spend months meticulously planning a seamless initiative. And after every successful campaign, the team sits down to evaluate what else can be done to make bigger dreams come true.

My Dream in a Shoebox Year 7 rallied together 57 organizations who as one industry gave over 45,000 shoeboxes to help bigger dreams come true.

“At the end of the day, it’s not just about the number of shoeboxes or donations,” says Bea Lim, Managing Director of TeamAsia. “It’s about the number of people who were inspired by it.” she adds.

Over 45,000 shoebox donations meant thousands of emails sent to collaborate with benefactors. It meant hundreds of phone calls spent coordinating with logistic suppliers and hundreds of volunteers painstakingly wrapping each box to make it more special.

Collecting shoebox donations to benefit children across the nation is just the first step of My Dream in a Shoebox. The journey continued as organizers, donors, and volunteers hosted several gift-giving days. Last December, children from Payatas Orione Foundation, Ascension of Our Lord Parish, SOS Children’s Village Foundation, and Pedro Calungsod Parish enjoyed a day of fun and laughter with volunteers and organizers of My Dream in a Shoebox. TeamAsia President Monette Hamlin also shared with these children the warmth of Christmas cheer through storytelling activities.

The joint effort of IBPAP and TeamAsia together with its partners National Book Store and Jones Lang LaSalle, along with industry partners have made My Dream in a Shoebox Year 7 a remarkable success.

IBPAP President Jomari Mercado says, “Seeing a smile light up on a child’s face during the gift-giving celebrations make the countless of hours invested to put together My Dream in a Shoebox all worth it.”

What are you going to do with a shoebox the next time you purchase a pair of shoes? Store it? Throw it? Or change someone’s life with My Dream in a Shoebox?

Connect with Katrina Pimentel through +63 917 5079379 or email kepimentel@teamasia.com. Be part of making #BiggerDreamsComeTrue.


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