Written by Janella Virrey / Photos by Archie Bocalbos, Mariel Avendano, and Andie Lim / Interviews by Janella Virrey / Post-processing by Mariel Avendano
Pledge Week is a week-long selling event that aims to fund the Save! Campaign by garnering pledges from the students of the Ateneo community.
The last week of September ended on a good note for MEcO because of the success of Pledge Week 2017. Held last September 25-29, Pledge Week is a week-long project that aims to garner pledges from generous students who voluntarily gave different amounts of money to fund the Save! Campaign. All profits earned from Pledge Week directly impact the Community Development department and its Save! Campaign project.
Pledgers posing with their stickers and piggy bank
Save! Campaign is one of MEcO’s year-long initiatives that aims to teach the kids of its partner beneficiary, Kalumpang Elementary School, the fundamentals of saving and financial literacy, in order to propagate its core competencies not just within the organization, but also the communities outside of it. It aids in building the children’s awareness on the importance of saving at a young age— it teaches these children the basics of saving and helps them improve their saving habits.
For this year, the superhero theme dominated Pledge Week. Rigorous efforts were made to promote the event; these efforts were manifested through the dissemination of both traditional and non-traditional promos around the campus and on social media.
Main promotional poster by Ysa Cuison
During the event proper, the Pledge Week booths situated in Kostka extension and JSEC were greeted by an overwhelming influx of pledges, especially during the first few days. By pledging to the project, the students were able to sponsor a Kalumpang elementary student with a piggy bank— one of the most basic yet effective forms of saving for children as young as them. However, pledgers did not go away empty-handed, because in return, they were given free stickers depending on the package they availed. Since the theme for this year is focused on superheroes, the sticker designs were also superhero-themed.
Superhero-themed stickers designed by Mariel Avendano
Volunteer rovers wearing red hero capes
Pledge week booth at Kostka extension
Rapa Limpingco, co-project head responsible for organizing and leading the Pledge Week core team, had this to say on the turnout of the project.
“It went above our expectations. I feel like we were able to gain more than enough funds for the kids of Save! campaign.”
Archie Bocalbos, co-project head, also agreed that the turnout of Pledge Week was successful.
“Okay naman. We exceeded our expectations twofold. The turnout [of the project] will be helpful to the Save! campaign since the expenses will be covered.”
However, before attaining success, they still encountered difficulties in terms of planning and execution that slightly threatened the project. Upon being asked, Archie said,
“For planning, yung token na ibibigay namin sa mga pledges, as well as cost for pledging was hard. Yung pag-forecast ng demand for pledges is also tricky. [We also encountered difficulties since] this pledge week is not the same as the pledge week last year. Before, we only had fundraising, walang token. Now, we had to think of a product to sell. Execution-wise, mahirap yung [task of] organizing volunteers, as well as booth maintenance.”
Meanwhile, Rapa said,
“As for planning the project, we didn’t face that many problems. But, as for execution, I feel like we lacked in getting enough volunteers to continuously look for pledges throughout the week. However, overall, like I said, we went beyond the goal we set for ourselves.”
Considering that theme for Pledge Week was superheroes, both Archie and Rapa had persons in mind whom they considered as the heroes of Pledge Week 2017 and served as the primary factors that contributed to the success of the project. Without any hesitation, Rapa said,
“For me, there was only one primary factor [that contributed to the project’s success]— that was the commitment of the volunteers to raise funds and get pledges for the Save! campaign and the kids. And with that, the heroes for this project were those who pledged and those who worked hard to gain enough funds for Save! campaign to be a memorable one for the children.”
On the other hand, Archie considered the volunteers and his core team as the heroes of Pledge Week.
“Of course, yung mga volunteers, number one. Especially the freshmen who were consistent throughout the week. Siyempre, core team ko, sila rin nagplan nito— hindi ‘to mangyayari kung wala yung sila.”
Volunteers of Pledge Week, with co-project head, Rapa Limpingco
Bong Ramos, a newcomer in MEcO, shared to us his reasons for volunteering for Pledge Week.
“[I volunteered] because I felt like I wasn’t doing my job if I didn’t volunteer. I didn’t sign up for Save! campaign, so it’s my way of contributing to the organization.”
Pledge Week was more than just a simple fundraising activity. It sets the bar high for future projects of the same nature, since, it has exceeded the expected outcome in terms of profit and number of pledges. The tally of pledges amounts to a total of 560 pledges during the whole week of operation.
Yet again, another fruitful project for MEcO has passed, hopefully, signifying the onset of more successes in the upcoming projects. Kudos to the project heads, core team, and volunteers who made the event possible, as well as the generous students and alumni who pledged for the benefit of the Kalumpang Elementary School kids, the beneficiaries of MEcO’s Save! Campaign.