They say the worst of times can bring out the best in people. Case in point: local celebs who have stepped up and used their platform to aid in COVID-19 relief efforts. Judy Ann Santos donated DIY face shields to frontliners, Bela Padilla created a fund for disenfranchised vendors, and Angel Locsin set up airconditioned sleeping tents for health workers in Taguig. 

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But when you’re neither a millionaire nor an A-lister, giving up what precious little you have is even more touching. 

After the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine, 70-year-old Evelina Torres, a sari-store owner in Cainta, decided to donate the food items in her store to her neighbors instead.

Her granddaughter, Marites Edroso, shares with CNN Philippines that they were ordinary folks. They’ve also been struggling during the lockdown, with some family members unable to work. 

Pero noong nagpasya siya na isarado ang tindahan, eh naisip niya pang tumulong sa mga kapitbahay namin (But when she decided to close down the shop, she even thought of helping our neighbors out),” says Marites of her grandmother. 

Evelina’s small business might have suffered monetary losses as a result, but she considers happy and grateful neighbors her ROI. 

“Nanghihinayang rin naman siya sa mawawalang kita, pero sabi niya naawa talaga siya sa mga kapitbahay namin na wala talagang kita at pangkain para sa mga bata (She feels bad about the lost income, but she really pities neighbors who have no cash and can’t feed their kids),” adds Marites. 

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Many Pinoys continue to be rays of light during this time of crisis, such as the taho vendor who gave medical frontliners free taho to support them, as well as the teachers who gave relief packs to their students. Remember that help, no matter how small, will always be appreciated ⁠— whether it be calling friends to see how they're doing, or offering those in need food to help tide them over, these efforts all buildup to a huge wave of kindness that can save lives. 

Even as you stay at home, you can still do your part by donating to institutions that support medical frontliners and keep communities fed. For more details, you can head on here, or here

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