In compliance with the ECQ Order, we suspended operations on March 16. With the exception of 5 regular employees and 13 trainees who stay in our dormitory, all employees and trainees were ordered to stay home. Only a skeleton staff were allowed to come to the office at least once or twice a week to attend to essential issues.
Due to the LOCKDOWN, no new business can be initiated and no fresh cash was coming. Despite the limited financial resources at hand, we agreed to release partial weekly salaries and allowances so that our people will be able to continue to “bring food to the table”. On the second week, each one of those who stayed received Gift Certificates of P1,000.00 from Caritas Manila and food packs from the LGU – Municipality of Cainta.
After a few days, a “Good Samaritan” (client of the shop) sent 105 food packs for all our employees, the trainees who stayed, and security guards. After learning that the families of the trainees who went home received very little relief goods, the 13 trainees contributed items from what they received. They were able to put together 22 food packs and some money for the families of the trainees who live in a small barrio in a nearby province. They were encouraged to insert short notes in the food packs – to renew lost relationships because of a misunderstanding or grudge with some co-trainees.
Moved by this act of love, the “Good Samaritan” sent another 100 food packs which multiplied into 550 more from the combined initiatives of The Noche Buena Project, Youth For A United World, and Bukas Palad Foundation. A second batch of 650 food packs were eventually sent to the families of the trainees and their neighbors in the small barrio.
Meanwhile, one of our major clients advised that a partial payment is being processed and may be released in the next few days. The fresh cash could allow us to continue to release partial salaries and allowances until we resume normal operations. We are also hoping that our employees will receive the financial assistance that will be provided by the government.
In the midst of uncertainties, we are witnesses to miracles. The miracle of the multiplication of bread. The providence of a God who cannot be outdone in generosity. This is the gospel lived. We continue to pray that this COVID 19 Pandemic will go away soon. We ask the Holy Spirit to guide us as we prepare for recovery. –
Focolare Carpentry/SJTC Manufacturing, Inc., 19 April 2020