What I did with $100 US dollars from my tax refund

What did I do with $100 US dollars from my tax refund?

I recently completed my taxes for 2009. I was elated when I found out that I have a small refund coming my way and that I might have $100 US dollars to spare. So what would I do with an extra $100 bucks? Would I spend it on myself or donate it to a project in the Philippines?

I was excited contemplating on my choices on how I could spend it.  I could buy myself a new pair of shoes at Nordstrom, an upscale retailer on Michigan Ave., Chicago’s high-end shopping district. Or I could buy myself, Will and a friend a nice Italian meal with red wine and gelato Italian dessert at Francesca’s  Italian Restaurant in Chicago’s Taylor St. neighborhood. Or just buy myself some new books and music online at Amazon

Then I remembered that my aunt Luz was requesting me to help her buy a used sewing machine to help some women earn extra income in Iligan City, Philippines.

Aunt Luz (standing on left) inspects pillow cases and children's clothes sewn by Gabriela (standing on right) and other women at a cottage industry in Iligan City, Philippines

Last February 2010, I visited my Aunt Luz  in Iligan City, Philippines, a town located in the southern island of Mindanao. We visited the women’s correctional center in Iligan City where my Aunt Luz started a small cottage industry for the women there to sew pillowcases and children’s clothes from rags for extra income for their families.  Aunt Luz managed to have one sewing machine donated.

Gabriela, lead volunteer of the budding sewing program, stands proudly next to their sewing machine

Their one sewing machine was a hit!  The women learned quickly how to use it and now they’re taking turns using the old-fashioned sewing machine making pillow cases, baby clothes and kitchen towels from rags. All they wanted was another one to help them make more. One more sewing machine costs $100 US dollars. They could purchase the sewing machine in Iligan City to avoid shipping charges and also help the town’s economy by buying locally.

Shoes? Fancy dinner? More books and music?  I decided that I will send my $100 to my aunt Luz to buy another old-fashioned sewing machine so the women could make more baby clothes and earn a little extra income for themselves.

I was dreaming  what if every Filipino in the US could spare $100 US dollars to help a project, small or large in their hometown and help someone else’ life a little better. Oh well, it’s just a dream…

About daleasis

President of the Bayanihan Foundation Worldwide
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