Christmas came early to 60 children from the Tahanang Mapagpala Center and the Social Development Center in Caloocan City when members of the Senate Spouses Foundation, Inc. (SSFI) recently played Santa in Christmas in November, the group’s annual gift-giving event at SM Store Megamall.
A joint project of the Senate Spouses Foundation, Inc. and SM, the event – which began with lunch at Wendy’s – was a day of fun for the kids many of whom experienced the joys of shopping for the first time after more than two years of the COVID-19 pandemic. No less than the spouses and their representatives took them around the SM Store to shop for clothes, school supplies, toiletries, toys, and more.
Senate Spouses Foundation President Audrey Zubiri led the group of spouses who played moms and dads for a day. These included Nancy dela Rosa, Teodoro “Neil” Llamanzares, Precy Ejercito, Gladys Cruz-Villanueva, Kathryna Pimentel, and Atty. Emmeline Villar; as well as Maricel Tulfo-Tungol, daughter of Senator Raffy Tulfo, who took the kids around the store for a fun-filled shopping spree during the yearly Christmas outreach program.
They were warmly welcomed and assisted by SM’s Millie Dizon and SM Store Megamall staff led by VP for Operations Maribel Sibayan, as well as SM Megamall AVP for Operations Ian Mathay.
The “Christmas in November” project of Senate Spouses Foundation, Inc. and SM started way back in 1998 by Eloisa Nolasco-Fernan, wife of then Senate President Marcelo Briones Fernan.
“We are thankful to SM for the many years of helping us bring joy to these children,” shares Senate Spouses Foundation President Audrey Zubiri.
This year’s activity became a happy reunion of sorts for the spouses and SSFI staff when Jimboy, a special child they met at the shelter 12 years ago, performed a dance number together with two other special kids. Showing their appreciation through their live and festive dance number and spreading more of the spirit of sharing, love, and thanksgiving, was not only enjoyed by the guests but also by SM Store shoppers. Before returning to Tahanang Mapagpala Center, the kids were treated to a sumptuous early dinner at Chowking.
The Tahanang Mapagpala Center and the Social Development Center are shelters for the abandoned, foundlings, and orphans of Caloocan City.
The Christmas in November is one of the ways that SM Store Megamall spreads cheer to the less fortunate during the Christmas season.