Last July 2013, several students from Xavier School participated in a week long international leadership seminar held in Manila. Throughout the course of the seminar, they went around the city, visiting historical sights and many impoverished areas. I was honored to be a part of that group along with Andrieu Tee, Joshua Lim, Alejandro Go, Marc Ong, Ethan Chua, and Scott Chua. The highlight of the seminar was a two day stay in the Australian Gawad Kalinga Village in Bagong Silang, Caloocan. Along with our fellow Australian, Hong Kong, Indonesian and Japanese participants, we built houses at the SM site in the area. Chatting with the locals, we gained new insights on how the people there live and just how much GK is doing to help them. At the end of the two days, we felt that we could do even more to help out the people in the area.
As part of our efforts to raise more funds for Gawad Kalinga, we decided to do something more well after the program had ended. Meeting up after the seminar, we looked into many possible fundraisers. An outbreak, a fun run, and several food booths were all suggested for our fundraiser. For the past few school years, though, the snow cone booth proved to be in demand, so much so that many complained when there was none last year. Because of this, we chose to set up our very own snow cone booth during the school fair.
Preparing for the booth, we had to buy all of the necessary materials that would allow us to operate. I bought the bottles of ice cone flavors, Ethan bought the ice, Josh brought the ice crushing machine, Andrieu and Ale brought the cups and other materials. The snow cones came in Bubblegum, Strawberry, Blueberry, Grape, Cherry and Green Apple flavors which could be mixed together at no additional cost. Once everything was set, we tested the ice crusher to make sure things would go well, and we were rewarded with cups of cool sweet-flavored ice.
Come the day of this year’s school fair, Mythos, we set up our booth at the Grade School Canteen, right beside Mcdonald’s. From the start of the day until the final hour of the fair, our booth was visited by crowds of fairgoers wanting to escape the heat of the field. Being one of the two snow cone booths in the fair, we gained a lot of customers over the two days. Selling our cones at 35 pesos for one and 60 pesos for two, we were a hit among the fairgoers.
Keeping our booth running wasn’t an easy task, though. To operate our booth, we needed at least three people manning it at one time. One would take care of the payments, another crushing ice, and another to pour the syrup. During our peak hours, we needed even more people, and any extra help offered by our friends was immediately taken. Other times, they helped us deliver orders to the people manning their class booths which allowed us to expand our coverage.
At the end of the two days, we had earned over twenty five thousand pesos which all went to our donations to help fund another housing project of Gawad Kalinga. Once again, we felt that we could do even more to raise funds. Having all the materials in place and a bunch of extra syrup stocked up, we decided to set up a snow cone booth every lunch during the final weeks of school.
Every High School lunch period, we set up booth in the catering stall on the left side of the HS canteen. Selling the snow cones at the same price as the fair, we were a hit among the students. Many came to us to buy snow cones, even more came for seconds, and a few even asked us for what we dubbed “rainbows” or snow cones which had all six flavors.
Some days, it was hard having to keep up with the endless rush of students. On others days, we would get a crowd coming in all at once, and on some, almost no one coming the rest of the lunch period. At about two weeks of selling, we raised more than eighteen thousand, a large amount considering the price of the snow cones!
After more than two weeks, we had achieved much more than we had ever imagined. With a total of more than 43,000 pesos raised throughout the whole time we sold cones, we were able to donate enough to fund almost a whole GK house. At times, the hours spent manning the booth was tiring and felt like an inconvenience. Yet, in the end, it was all worth it. We never imagined that a few high school students would be able to raise that amount of money selling snow cones. Despite all the difficulties and challenges encountered during the fundraising, deep inside, our Xavier education gave us the strength and determination to exemplify our school’s motto to be a “man for others.” After this experience, we indeed felt a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction by living up to our Catholic faith and being one with Christ. We were proven that as long as we had the will to do something, anything could be made possible. Luceat Lux.