By Marivir R. Montebon
New York City — A New York-based Filipina is so loving and doing the act of giving this holiday season.
Britney Madison Allen, a native of the province of Gingoog in Mindanao is spearheading on its second year the ‘Spirit of Christmas Drive 2014’ with the theme “Give Love on Christmas Day.” It simply is gathering donations from generous people to be able to buy toys and school supplies for school children in her home province and neighboring places in the Misamis Oriental region in the Philippines.
“We are working hard on putting things together for the upcoming drive that will take place in Cagayan de Oro, Gingoog, and Butuan on December 21, 2014. Like always, our mission is to spread the spirit of Christmas by giving toys and school supplies to children.”
Britney is not stopping at this gift-giving on the holidays. Her non-profit organization is already planning on creating out-of-school youth programs and scholarship programs for college by next year.
She is currently taking up Marketing Communications at Berkeley College and work as a real estate agent.
Excerpts of our interview:
What does the Spirit of Christmas Drive intend to do?
Our mission is to spread the spirit of Christmas to remind us all that it is in the selfless act of giving that we truly live a meaningful life. We encourage others to do the same.
What is the organization’s plan for this year?
Our plan this year have expanded from one city to three. When we launched in 2012, we had a Christmas drive in one city, now we’re going from Cagayan de Oro, to Gingoog City, and Butuan City.
What is the future of the organization, where do you see it five years from now?
Where are looking to expand and give more to other countries as well, as our organization is not only focused in the Philippines.
What inspires you and motivates you to do this?
My family is my inspiration. The future generation and my future children are my inspiration. The happiness I feel when I’m helping others is what motivates me. It is simply the feeling of being able to touch lives and make a difference in the world.
To set an example that a hero can come in many forms and from all walks of life. I heard so many people say, “Oh, when I lottery, I’m gonna help the children in poor countries, I’m gonna do this, Im gonna do that!” But the thing is, you don’t have to be rich or have a lot to be able to give.
You can give a little and that means a lot of them. You can give as little or as much as you can. You can give free service to the community, you can volunteer, you can lend a spare tire or your spare time to visit elderly people or mentor someone in the youth community. There are so many things you can do to make a difference. And if we all do it, we can turn spare time into moments and happiness into memories that we will cherish forever. Who knows, the small act that you do now can create a big impact for the world in the long run.
Tell us about the Britney Madison Allen Award.
In this organization, we’re all about helping people, giving gifts to children, making a difference in the world in ways that we can. We encourage others to do the same thing. We know that there are many people who do selfless, random acts of kindness on a daily basis, people who go extra mile to do their job right, people who helps those who are in need.
In this organization, we would like to recognize them. To do that, starting this year, we will honor an individual or group of people the Britney Madison Allen Award as one of The Most Inspirational People of the Year 2014.
This is open to all countries and anyone can nominate somebody. They can create a video or write it in a letter and post them on our Facebook Page, www.facebook.com/SpiritOfChristmasDrive.
Where do you see the organization five years from now?
In the next five years, we envision our organization to develop out of school programs, youth mentorships, scholarship programs for college, and Christmas Drive in Thailand, Malaysia, China, including South America, North America, and Europe.
You are really passionate about this, how long do you plan on doing this? What visions?
I’m going to do this for the rest of my life. I expect my family to cooperate. And I expect my future children to continue this when I’m gone. This is my legacy. I don’t expect anything in return. I just want to be one of the few people who walked on earth that actually made a difference.