DB community helps poor children in the Philippines

On January 18, a message was posted on the Facebook group Moving Sale..Discovery Bay Edition, thanking members of the DB community for donations they made late last year. Boxes full of used toys, books, clothes, and shoes were sent to a public school in the province of Nueva Vizcaya, just in time for Christmas.

The post was made by Philippines-born Josie Dancel, who owns and operates AshniChai.com, a DB-based maker of handmade picnic mats, bags and other merchandise. She regularly participates in the Discovery Bay Sunday Market and other bazaars around Hong Kong.

In January 2015, Josie's mother was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and was brought to the Philippine General Hospital in Manila. Flying from Hong Kong every two weeks to assist during her treatment, Josie became well acquainted with the hospital community and learned the plight of its poorer patients, especially cancer-stricken children.

Returning home, Josie and her daughter gathered old clothes and toys for the young cancer patients in Manila. Many times she visited her mother with packages to drop off for the kids. Even the aging patients received Rainbow Looms to make rubber band bracelets, which they thoroughly enjoyed.

In October, Josie's best friend, an elementary school teacher working in the mountainous area of Nueva Vizcaya, asked if she could send a package for her students, children from poor families who walk to class without flip-flops. Having run out of things to give, she turned to Moving Sale, one of many Facebook groups in Lantau Island where members seek, sell or dispose of unused and unwanted items. The response was immense; three large boxes were filled and shipped, with more to be sent in February.

21.01.16 ashni donate 2

Josie's mother has recently overcome her illness. They still visit the hospital for routine checkups and to visit patients and staff. To date, residents continue to reach out to Josie to donate old belongings. She plans to give help to other public schools in rural areas Tarlac, as well as Tacloban, which was devastated by Typhoon Haiyan in 2013. She remains ever-grateful for the community's outpouring and support.

Residents of Discovery Bay have helped the less fortunate in many places on many occasions, through similar means. The little things they've done may have changed lives around the world.


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