Comic book drive brings smiles to kids in the hospital


Borrowing words from Nick Fury, “It started with an idea”—that restless thought that I wanted to celebrate my birthday more personal and more meaningful.

You see, I was caught up with my personal struggles, spilling these over to other aspects of my life. I figured, maybe the right thing to do was to step back, still acknowledge that my problems and weaknesses exist but instead of sulking over regrets, redirect my efforts to other people who I could actually help.

The Man of Steel makes a girl happy. Photo by Joseph de Leon

This also presented an opportunity to use my interest in comic books, seen by others as “throwaway literature,” in spreading hope to children living with chronic illness.  Comic books also offer a different kind of healing. Medicines, chemotherapy and dextrose are concepts alien to the kids. But comics could inspire them—to be like the heroes in the stories they read, to write as good as those who tell them or to pick a pencil to draw. Comic books can also provide them an escape from the trauma of sickness and the depressing truth that they have to stay in the hospital, instead of attending school.

Nixon Na helping out. XD Photo by Jerald Uy.

I guess that answers why I decided to hold a comic book drive, a question I was often asked.

Now onto the “how.”

Captain America hands out comics. Photo by Ruben Salvador

To encourage comic book readers to give up their comics for donation, I asked comic book artists I have interviewed or met if they could donate art for raffle. Once I had enough names, I posted a note on several  Facebook groups. One group that was mainly for comics for sale removed me as member. That may be the only thing that could have ticked me off a bit. The private messages from artists, cosplayers and even non-comic reading individuals offset any bad experience—including slipping on the MRT stairs while I was carrying a bag of donated comics.

Kid gets a Kuting Magiting comic book. Photo by Nixon Na.

Peace!
Photo by Nixon Na

It was all worth it during the free comic book day at the National Children’s Hospital on October 20, seeing all their happy faces to receive comics from cosplaying superheroes. I was not able to capture every moment. But man, if you could only have seen the girl in the cancer ward jumping for joy when she saw our Superman. Or the boy, who had a bacterial infection in his brain and was shouting, who calmed down when the cosplayers approached him. Or the girl in the neuro ward who bid Batman “bye bye.” Those moments are priceless.

Great job, Super Mario! Photo by Ruben Salvador
These little angels in the cancer ward were so happy to see Superman.
The girl was actually jumping for joy when she saw the Man of Steel.
Photo by Jerald Uy


I sincerely thank all the donors of comic books—Ike Sulat, Danry Ocampo, Holy Sanjula, Emman Centeno, Rox Roque, Jing Opena, Adrian Lontoc, Irmann Tamisin, Rey Manalo, Nep Galupo, KyuKyu Fernandez, Ogie Cruz and his nieces Lea, April, Amity, Allyssa, Alexis and Aya, Rosmar Camacho, Val Calma, Ericus Soriano, Donnie Ray Cruz, Mike Villegas, John Michael Lu, Chito Cariño, Jack Javier and Pia Mendoza of Private Iris, Bernce Llamo, Oliver Pulumbarit, Ken Steven, Marco Ilao, RR of Donamps Comics, Peejay Catacutan, Ernest Caritativo, Michael Gomez, Tristan Luis, Kimberly Tsao, Ben Borbe, Harold Yoingco Ace Vitangcol of "Love is in the Bag," Andoyman, Erika de Leon and Marvin Bañas;



The artists who donated art for raffle—Jomar Bulda, Rustico Limosinero, Peejay Catacutan, Kim Jacinto, Andrew Villar, Bernce Llamo, Allen Geneta, Dexter Soy, Jether Amar, Jethro Morales, Heubert Khan Michael and Nixon Na;
Marvel Comics artist Kim Jacinto was one of the artists who donated art.
Photo by Jerald Uy

The comic book stores that took in donations for pick up Comic Odyssey, Druid's Keep and Castle Geek; Filbar’s Online for posting the announcement on their page;

Get well, soldier! Photo by Jerald Uy

Bloggers Azrael, Juan in Manila, Mark Rosario and TheFanboySEO for helping me spread the word;

Cosplayers Myk Castillo, Michael Reid, Jan-Charles Carmona, Joseph de Leon, Willord Ordona, Mark Celtic Buenaventura and Andrea Garcia;

And volunteers Margaret Yarcia, Joanne de Duque and Ruben Salvador.

Meg, Joanne and superheroes in the hospital. Photo by Mark Buenaventura.

Thank you for spreading happiness to kids who need it the most!

***
Here are some insights from volunteers and cosplayers:

Ruben Salvador, volunteer
Comic Book Giving sa National Children's Hospital
Fulfilling and fun day! Superheroes giving comic books to sick but happy and hopeful kids!

Realizations:
1. Cheesy, but it was fun seeing smiles on the kids' faces. Especially their initial reaction and excitement as the cosplayers entered the hallway.

2. Never really seen the purpose/meaning of cosplaying before. Now, I am considering cosplaying for these kinds of events. To share your passion (comic book geekery) while making others happy is a great combination.

3. Although it was a happy event, I couldn't help but notice the condition of the hospital. Not that it does not provide a suitable environment for the children, but we could have done better. Way, way better. Note to future self, do something about this. Scratch that, do something now.

Photo by Jerald Uy
4. While looking through the pile of comic books to be given: "OMG Variant covers!" "WTH Amazing Spider-Man Issue 500! 30th Anniversary Commemoration of ASM#1!" ZOMFG! 52 tpbs volumes 1 and 2!!" Must resist temptation. Must not keep for self. (I didn't steal it, no worries)

5. Books are awesome. Kids these days need more books. We should have more events like these. Promoting reading and the like.

(Medyo blurry. Konti lang)

Congrats Jerald! Awesome event!




Mychael Reid, cosplayer
"It was a great day yesterday...me, my daughter Andrea and my cosplay friends were invited to do a birthday charity event to bring joy and smile to the children at the National Children's Hospital...we donated books and comic books to these children for them to read...we are lucky that we have kids that don't have the sickness that these kids have...there was kid who is like younger than 7 years old and is battling for leukemia...and all sorts of ailments and these kids needs real help...it's a good thing we brought smile to them and that is a great achievement on my part...I thank you Jerald Uy and the organizers and contributors for this drive...hope we do this again...^___^ — feeling accomplished."


Mark Buenaventura, cosplayer
"I, together with my DC Cosplay Friends suited up for the FREE COMIC BOOK DAY
at the NATIONAL CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL. This is a very memorable experience for me and it is a very great opportunity to be able to give happiness to the kids by giving away free comic books and other type of books ie: short stories, fairy tales, etc..

We had a lot of fun and heart warming scenes during the day.. It's a pleasure and a very great honor to be invited and be a part of this team.. "




I dressed as Young Justice's Superboy. XD Photo by Jerald Uy


4 comments:

  1. two thumbs up Jerald! sa cosplayers pa lang panalo na mga bata.. parang souvenirs na lang yung mga comics para maalala nila yung day na yun. -Nico - Admin CCP

    ReplyDelete
  2. TRULY A SUPER HEROES . I SALUTE!...

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