Months ago, 27-year-old Erika Ente and 19-year-old Charisse Parchamento started the #MayTwentyAko initiative to help contribute to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, their call for 20-peso donations has already garnered millions worth of donations.
Seeing how people are affected by the government-imposed lockdown, Ente, a technical officer at the National Anti-Poverty Commission, and Parchamento, an incoming college freshman started the #MayTwentyAko initiative. (Read: Muntinlupa Residents Work Towards Zero-Waste Community)
Ente said that after she discussed the plan with Parchamento, the latter included her in a group chat with her friends—all former students of Ente at St. James Academy in Malabon where she used to teach Humanities. Ente pitched her idea to the group at 6:30 in the morning. Their grand goal then was to seek out 20-peso donations on social media and collect P2,000. (Read: Here’s How You Can Help Jeepney Drivers Affected by the Lockdown)
When the group agreed, they started tagging influencers and celebrities on Twitter. They asked the question, “Ano ang ambag mo?” and got shocked when they managed to amass P5,000 in one day. They later moved to Facebook and eventually created their own Facebook page that used the hashtag, #MayTwentyAko.
Day 6 of Distribution: low quality picture but high quality giving! ?#SendTwenty na! #MayTwentyAko ??? Metro ManilaPosted by May Twenty Ako on Thursday, March 26, 2020
Ente said that they were only planning to collect P2,000 to buy 100 sanitizers for homeless people in their community. But as the days passed, the #MayTwentyAko initiative was able to raise P30,000, allowing them to help more people in other areas in Malabon, Navotas, Valenzuela, and Bulacan. (Read: Heart Evangelista Starts Initiative to Help Students in Distance Learning)
The group now has 13 members with the youngest aged 12 and the oldest member is Ente’s mother. They have also branched out to other cities and have campaigns in North Caloocan, Pampanga, and Cavite.
As more donations poured in, the group has expanded their projects as well. The #MayTwentyAko initiative has been providing medical supplies and food to frontliners. (Read: Here’s Why Lolo Kiko Wants You to Help the Poor Amid the Pandemic) They were able to purchase 10,000 surgical masks, gallons of alcohol and liquid hand soap, and packed lunch and snacks for frontliners of Philippine public hospitals.
The #MayTwentyAko initiative has also provided activity sheets and face masks to the learners of the Kapitbahayan Elementary School in Navotas.
“At present, we are looking at printing and binding learning materials for the new modes of learning for the upcoming school year,” Ente said. Through their funds, they were able to send monetary donations to Save San Roque, All Together in Dignity, and Joly Homes Foundation.
Road to P4 Million
As of writing the #MayTwentyAko initiative has garnered four million pesos. But before that, the group has explored selling merchandise and milk tea products. They have spent the proceeds on grocery items, hygiene kits, and hospital logistics. The group also tapped professional athletes Ino Comboy of the San Miguel Beermen and Javee Mocon of Rain or Shine Elasto Painters to auction their jerseys to gather more funds. (Read: Kobe Paras Slams Anti-Terror Bill, Gets Support From Other Student-Athletes)
The #MayTwentyAko initiative was able to help more than 1,500 families, and over 40 hospitals, in and out of Metro Manila.