US charity group raising funds for Filipino streetkids

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Cardinal Tagle speaks during "Make Sad Eyes Smile" fundraising event in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania on Sept. 19.

MANILA, Oct. 2, 2015— A US-based charitable organization is hoping to bring health services to more Filipino street children and poor families.

The Barnabite Heart to Heart Mission launched a fundraising campaign on Sept. 19 to raise US$100,000, or roughly Php 4.6 million, to set up and operate a mobile medical unit in the Philippines.

The fundraising event for the “Make Sad Eyes Smile” project was attended by Cardinal Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle of Manila himself in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

The project is the brainchild of the group’s founder, Fr. Robert Kosek, when he returned to Pennsylvania from the Philippines in 2014.

The priest was working as rector of the Barnabite Seminary in Marikina City when he realized the immense poverty of the area and started the House of Care of Fr. Semeria, a school for poor children.

Later on, the facility started providing food and medical services.

“Make Sad Eyes Smile will help the poor street children in the Philippines by giving them medical and dental care,” Kosek said.

“And by doing that, we are showing them God’s love and helping them feel and live better,” he added.

According to him, they need to raise a certain amount to obtain a medical van, build its interior, equip it and operate for the first year.

In his message, Tagle said the mobile clinic will help a lot in terms of providing health services to “people who are forced into poverty.”

“We in the Philippines, especially the poor children… we are not the only ones who will benefit from this project but the whole humanity for I believe that every act of love changes the whole world,” Tagle said.

The project also got the support of Allentown Bishop John Barres, saying that it is an opportunity for the people of the diocese to “raise their consciousness of the people of the Philippines.” (R. Lagarde/CBCPNews)

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