Leveled-up ‘Pedrito’ fundraising to benefit typhoon victims too

MANILA—The youth group that earlier re-launched the sale of limited-edition Pedrito Dolls to support Church-led relief operations in Bohol and Cebu after the killer earthquake last month has decided to upgrade its fundraising project to also benefit the victims of Super Typhoon Yolanda in Eastern Samar and Leyte.

YouthPinoy has gotten in touch with selected parishes in Metro Manila, looking at the possibility of directly selling Pedrito Dolls to parishioners as well as quickly raise funds for the displaced typhoon victims. The group has reportedly sold 500 dolls for the first three weeks of its fundraising via online sale. YouthPinoy officers April Frances Ortigas and Nirva’ana dela Cruz have flown to Tagbilaran to remit the proceeds of the sale to Bishop Leonardo Medroso last November 7.

“With all the recent events now in the Visayas, our task became bigger.  The call to help out our brothers and sisters in need became more urgent—not only in Bohol and Cebu but to the whole island of the Visayas,” Ortigas said.

Ortigas said the decision also stemmed from the request of followers of the Saint Pedro Calungsod Facebook fanpage—which YouthPinoy administers—for Pedrito Dolls to be readily available in the market. As of press time, ordering Pedrito Dolls is still done online and payment is coursed through the bank—a process which patrons find tedious and inconvenient.

In an online poll, Facebook users supported the idea of selling Pedrito Dolls in the parishes. More than 1,000 fans have “liked” the idea of aggressively marketing the Pedrito Dolls a day after the online poll was mounted.

A certain Facebook user Ruby Beloved Joy said “yes please, that would be a lot easier to avail them. Not all parishioners have online access plus the fact that those of the purchasing age are not that techie to order online.”

The feedback from netizens has convinced the group to upgrade the sale of Pedrito Dolls, especially as proceeds are meant for the relief drive for the Visayans. Calungsod himself was a Visayan, who was claimed as a native of Cebu, Bohol and even Iloilo.

“There’s a lot of people who are willing to help and many of them sent us message through social media, text and email, requesting to have more Pedrito Dolls available.  There’s a flood of orders, and we are grateful that these orders not only comes from people who wants to have a Pedrito Doll, but people who have generous hearts for the Filipinos,” she added.

Ortigas said that YouthPinoy volunteers—who tag themselves as Online Missionaries for using social media as a tool for evangelization—are offering their time and energy not only to raise funds for the victims of calamities in the Visayas, but to also continue promoting the life and martyrdom of Calungsod.

“The call to help, the call to reach out and the call to extend this mission is strongly present in our hearts because too many have lost their lives and properties. Too many people need help so we are extending more of St. Pedro.  Through these dolls, we could help more people and we could touch more lives.  Letting them know that St. Pedro Calungsod is praying for us and is with us amid these trying times,” Ortigas said.

YouthPinoy adviser Msgr. Pedro Quitorio said proceeds of the upgraded Pedrito Doll sale will be channeled primarily to the diocese of Borongan in Eastern Samar and archdiocese of Palo in Leyte. This excludes the dioceses of Tagbilaran and Talibon in Bohol and the archdiocese of Cebu, which were the initial beneficiaries of the fundraising after being hit by a 7.2 –magnitude earthquake last October 15.

Meanwhile, thousands of Visayans are reeling from the aftermath of the devastation caused by Yolanda, which made land fall in various Philippine islands over the weekend. At least 10,000 unidentified people are feared to have perished due to the strongest typhoon recorded in world history.

Each Pedrito Doll is sold at P650 and under the YouthPinoy fundraising project, the P100 proceeds of each doll will be donated to Church-led relief operations in the affected dioceses. Pending the announcement on which parish will host the Pedrito Sale, placing of orders is still coursed through youthpinoy.com. (YouthPinoy)