At DATEM, volunteerism is alive and well; we are quick to rally resources in times of crisis, such as when super typhoons strike large swathes of the country. DATEM has been quick in responding to areas that were badly hit by calamities like Ondoy and Yolanda, through outreach activities and by donating relief goods.

          DATEM immediately mobilized through various coordinated efforts. Each Project Team collected donations of food, bottled water, clothes, and medicine, and brought them to DATEM’s yard in Cainta for packing. Volunteers helped sort the goods and packed them in individual bags before they were loaded into the truck headed for Eastern Samar.

         Other volunteers helped pack the relief goods at San Carlos Seminary in Makati City, and brought DATEM’s cash donations to major public service organizations like the ABS-CBN Foundation and GMA’s Kapuso Foundation. It was a somber but uplifting experience for everyone who shared and participated.

          The tone carried over into the year’s office Christmas party, which opened as usual in the early Sunday morning of December 15 with the usual buzz of an extra-large family gathering. A string of small and large vehicles entered the DATEM Cainta yard gates, long registration lines proudly showing the many sites of our colleagues, a sea of people wearing the DATEM shirt and bearing their Christmas backpacks of goodies, and the joy and excitement that come with catching up. But unlike the revelry of Christmases past, this year’s was turned down a notch owing to the tragedy in the Visayas.  Things turned tearful at some point, as the spirit of giving and sharing took on a deeper and more urgent meaning.

          “Kalinga sa Pagbangon ng Kabisayaan” was the title of the program, which opened with a 4-minute AVP on the shocking extent of damage in the wake of Supertyphoon Yolanda. As the program proceeded with songs and presentations, the employees were bound by sympathy and the silent determination to do something, in their own little way, to show that they cared. Their bosses’ initiative, support, commendation, and appreciation of the Relief Operation Teams and the employees’ efforts in the relief operations sent the message that, together, they all could make a difference.

          As the program drew to a close, it was very inspiring to see that, truly, DATEM Cares. This had the effect of lifting the gloom somewhat and restoring their belief in humanity, a sense of hope, and determination to do their part, in whatever way, to uplift each other and our fellowmen.