A Breeze of Good Deeds # 24: Christmas for a Boy with No Limbs

Published on December 19, 2011

As early as November, my friends have started asking me if I already had plans for a Christmas project. Actually, I didn’t have a plan. That alone made me a little guilty. I was anticipating a letter from World Vision asking for my Noche Buena donation for my scholar. I thought that was already enough. But I realized that with the blessings that I am continuously getting and the number of people who needs help, my efforts will NEVER be enough. And besides, I am surrounded by compassionate friends who have the same urge to extend a helping hand to those in need. :)

I talked to some friends to check out if they are willing to join us for the same project which Boyet, Erlie and I did a couple of years ago. We were almost set for it. But just last week, I got a message from my cousin asking if we could consider helping out someone. After seeing his photo and hearing some stories from my cousin, I knew at that moment that we need to help him.

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His name is Tommy. But most people fondly call him TamTam. I don’t know why he doesn’t have limbs but I’m assuming it’s inborn. What’s more painful than his disability is the fact that his family abandoned him. His father cold-heartedly sold him to a perya. My cousin asked if he has any relatives. He answered sadly, “Meron po pero ayaw nila akong angkinin e.” That made me think how some people can do such a horrible thing. Sorry for the lack of description pero umuurong ang jebs ko pag naiisip ko yung mga kamag-anak ni TamTam!

Anyway, my aunt and my cousin had the chance to meet him and both could attest how kind TamTam is. He does not ask for alms. He just stays in one corner and waits for people to notice him. My aunt’s co-workers and other people from the nearby establishments would sometimes give him food. And in return, he’d courteously say “Thank you po!”

For a while, he was homeless. But judging by the fact that he is paying a 600/month rent to a house with no electricity and water supply only proves that he is striving to have a normal life. And those people who have already met him know that he wants to be self-sufficient. Yesterday, my aunt asked him if he already has food. He smiled and said, “Meron na po.” It only shows that he is not abusing the kindness of the people around him.

Currently, TamTam is relying on the help of some strangers and my aunt’s co-workers who now treat him as if he’s a part of their families. Mang Nestor helps him in commuting since both of them live in Cavite. Suffice to say, he found a father in him.

My father asked me why we’re doing something as big as this for only one person. I kept quiet not because I don't have anything to say to him but because a lot of people have that kind of mentality. Everybody wants to be a superhero. Everybody wants to save the whole world. When in fact, the only way to change the world is to save one person at a time. Maybe when my friends and I become as big as Oprah, then we can do something bigger.

With our busy schedules, I honestly thought we could not be able to pull it off. It was really frustrating at first. But I must have done something really good to deserve such kindhearted friends. Boyet and I bought some groceries last weekend. Aubrey is in-charge in buying his clothes while Erlie took charge of the things that he need for a small business that he can probably start. Gener volunteered to buy our “special gift” for TamTam. Kriska promised that she’ll drive us when we meet TamTam. And my cousin Hazel visited TamTam last Saturday and took charge of buying his vitamins. Together with Me-Anne, Chod, Jeff, Joie and my brother Abes, we will rock TamTam’s Christmas! And if you want to be a part of it, you’re very much welcome!

If you just spend your day whining about how our government is not doing its job, nothing will happen. If you are always waiting to do something big, you may run out of chances. If you just believe that charity is only for the charitable institutions, you’re definitely mistaken. If you think that you cannot do something for people like TamTam, let our small group be an example that nothing is impossible.

We are hoping to transfer TamTam to a more decent and secure home. Other than the lack of electricity and water supply, he also told us that he is losing some of his possessions. We want TamTam to be as self-sufficient as possible. We want him to live a normal life. If you want to be a part of this change in TamTam’s life, come and join us! Shoot me an email (jerelltabenoja@gmail.com) or leave a comment in this post and I’ll get in touch with you. We are planning to meet him on Christmas eve. Thank you in advance! ;-)

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1 comments

  1. aww, that's heartbreaking that no relative of him wants to take him. how can you deny someone of sense of belongingness? where did you see him?

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