An everyday volunteer helps re-build a wonderful world
Having struggled in life during his early years, 35-year-old Tondo-raised Jaworski Garcia knows how it is to be hungry and helpless. He survived through the assistance of Good Samaritans and finished his accountancy course via high school and college scholarships.
Being a recipient of countless blessings from strangers, Jaworski or Jay as he is fondly called, deemed it his duty to pay it forward to the more unfortunate members of society.
Garcia has been a constant volunteer during calamities even when he was just in grade school. He started with the disastrous 1990 earthquake, followed by the Mt. Pinatubo eruption, and then the devastating Typhoon Ondoy, but his biggest challenge came when Super Typhoon Yolanda hit the country on November 8, 2013.
Restless and itching to do something to help, Garcia began with donating 70,000 one-liter bottles of mineral water from his small water station to Red Cross and the Department of Social Welfare and Development. He also campaigned among his friends to donate funds. But he didn’t stop there.
Armed with his old basic cell phone and his very reliable sports utility vehicle, Garcia heeded the call of his idol, motoring journalist James Deakin, to join “OplanHatid,” a volunteer transport service in Villamor Air Base for the survivors of super Typhoon Yolanda.
Spending time, fuel and energy to drive 13 families to their destinations as far as Tiaong, Quezon on his first day alone earned Jay the moniker “Kapitan” as he became a hero that both his peers and the survivors look up to.
Besides his trusty Montero, Garcia has another companion as he worked overtime—his cell phone. Garcia has been a loyal prepaid subscriber of Globe Telecom for over 15 years and has banked on the reliability of the telecom service for constant communications with other volunteers.
“I need to keep my own number for personal transactions. I don’t see any reason to change. There are lots of packages now which I can choose from like the unlimited calls for Globe to Globe where I don’t have to pay extra. I find prepaid very convenient. It’s good,” he said.
Garcia’s mobile phone went into overdrive when the “OplanHatid” volunteers decided to organize a job fair at Rizal Park called “OplanTrabaho” where Globe was one of the participants.
“I used my prepaid phone for OplanHatid so when we came out with OplanTrabaho, my number was posted in the Internet. As a result, I was receiving more than 1,000 text messages every day and my basic phone can hardly cope up with it. I also had to answer a lot of calls especially during the day of OplanTrabaho. I was assigned to handle transportation so I had to coordinate with the bus drivers, fellow volunteers, as well as the job seekers,” he narrated.
As his feature phone kept dying on him, Garcia jokingly expressed his predicament to one of the employee volunteers manning the booth where Globe gave out phone kits to the first 200 hires. Being cognizant of how crucial Jay’s role is in OplanHatid and OplanTrabaho, the Globe employee didn’t hesitate to bring the matter to the Globe customer experience group, which immediately acted on the request.
Garcia is not a “techie” but circumstances prevent him from sticking to his basic phone, thus, Globe provided him with one that has a feature that can serve him best—a waterproof phone which he can use even in the worst weather conditions.
Just like Garcia who is committed to helping, Globe also lends a hand to those who badly need assistance. “Being a loyal Globe subscriber who is also a dedicated volunteer, Jay deserves a small token of appreciation which we hope he can use to further spread goodwill.
Together, we begin a journey towards a wonderful world not only for victims of disasters but for the whole Philippines as well,” said Miggy de la Cruz, head of Globe Customer Communications.
Garcia’s new phone still has a lot to do as he moved from OplanHatid and OplanTrabaho to OplanKabataan for the children in Tacloban who temporarily stopped schooling.
“There are many Filipinos who love their fellow Filipinos but we often wait for a disaster to happen before we show them that we care. So this early, why don’t we look for ways on how to share our time and resources with those who need them,” Garcia said.
Besides volunteer work, Garcia also helps 24 elementary and high school students get a good education. “I divide my monthly salary among them. I’m also taking care of one orphaned family who were victims of Typhoon Yolanda. I was in their shoes before. If nobody helped me, I wouldn’t be where I am now,” he said.
Jay Garcia may be a successful professional in the natural resources industry but he is willing to one day leave his prestigious position and dedicate all his time and effort to his life’s passion: helping other people have a better life.