/ 17 August 2020

“SAAN aabot ang twenty mo?” has been identified with a popular commercial ad for a local ice cream brand for the past several years.

But the marketing strategy has since been adopted to provide support for people in need in this time of the pandemic.

A youth-led group working behind #MayTwentyAko is a charity organization that encourages benefactors to donate as low as P20 and buy grocery packs and hygiene kits for the homeless, street-dwellers, and informal workers.

Charisse Parchamento, an incoming freshman of Ateneo de Manila, and Erika Jean Ente, a researcher from National Anti-Poverty Commission, are the two top leaders of the group.

The relief operations started last March 16, the first day after Metro Manila and other provinces in Luzon were put under an Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ).

“The initial target was P2,000 to purchase 100 hand sanitizers for homeless people in Malabon City. But after five hours, we were able to raise P30,000, which enabled us to buy bread and grocery items that we have distributed to the informal workers and homeless in CaMaNaVa area and Bulacan,” Parchamento said.

According to Parchamento, the group decided to respond to the needs of the people because youths are often asked, “Ano ba’ng ambag mo?” to which it frequently answered: “May twenty ako.”

After a week of campaigning, the group received messages from different communities in Luzon which also wish to do the same initiative.

“We now have recognized

#MayTwentyAko campaigns in North Caloocan, Pampanga and Cavite,” Parchamento added.

After more than five months of relief operations, the group already provided medical supplies, grocery items, and food packs to several frontliners including health workers, fire volunteers, and policemen.

It also donated sleeping mats, blankets, and mosquito nets to homeless people staying at make-shift shelters.

Similarly, it sent financial assistance to jeepney and tricycle drivers who lost their living due to the suspension of mass public transport.

Just last week, it turned over printed worksheets, school supplies, and hygiene kits to San Roque National High School and Kapitbahayan Elementary School, a Special Education school in Navotas City.

The group now plans to extend its donation drive to schools in rural areas.

“Our challenge to fellow youth is that we have to stop being apathetic. All of us are accountable for other people. Titingnan natin ang kalagayan ng iba, hindi lang puro pan-sarili,” Parchamento said.

For more information and possible donations, one can visit the group’s Facebook page at MayTwenty Ako or you can contact Charisse Parchamento at 0956-5432127 or 0908-3712162.