“Your one hour can change a life.”
One hour’s worth of salary, that is. Think about it: There are 8,765 hours in a year, and if you can use just one hour to make a meaningful impact on a child, then that one hour is already worth her or his lifetime.
This is the essence of what the Children’s Hour Philippines is all about.
The Children’s Hour Philippines Foundation was founded in 1999 by businessman-industrialist, Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, or JAZA, as he is fondly known.
The campaign started out in the United Kingdom as Children’s Promise, an end-of the millennium fundraising campaign led by then-Prime Minister Tony Blair. This idea grew globally, with the US-based International Youth Foundation (IYF) taking on the lead. At that time, JAZA was an IYF member.
In 2002, the campaign was re-launched with a renewed vigor to support children’s causes, particularly in health and education. Back then, former President Corazon C. Aquino was made the honorary chair. It was a campaign she fully supported. That tradition of unselfish support continues with her daughter, Ballsy Aquino-Cruz, who is our honorary chair .
Recently, the Board of Trustees of Children’s Hour Philippines met and, among others, chose a new set of officers. I am honored to have been elected as the new Vice-Chairman of the foundation, to succeed Ambassador Bienvenido Tan Jr., our former Ambassador to Germany.
These are humongous shoes to fill.
Tito Benny was one of the founders and prime movers of the campaign in the country. He, too, wears many philanthropic hats, aside from the Children’s Hour, and he is also credited for having established other well-known charity organizations.
Both JAZA and Ambassador Benny have moved the Children’s Hour to the support and successes that it enjoys now. It has reached the status of an iconic brand . I hope, and pray, that I be able to do to the campaign what Ambassador Benny did before.
The new officers and members of the board of trustees of Children’s Hour are a virtual who’s who in Philippine business and society : Advertising wiz Emily Abrera as Chairman; former Finance Secretary and multi awarded -Roberto De Ocampo as Treasurer; and former Civil Service Commission Chairperson Corazon Alma De Leon, former Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff General (retired) Efren Abu, and Children’s Hour Executive Director Geenette Garcia as Executive Committee members.
The Board of Trustees are composed of Emily A. Abrera; Jose P. Leviste, Jr.; Jose Mari L. Chan; Dr. Conchita L. Manabat; Roberto F. De Ocampo; Marcia Y. Gokongwei; Cristina Lim-Yuson; Corazon Alma G. De Leon; Alexandra Prieto-Romualdez; Marianne G. Quebral; Jose R. Soberano III; Anthony T. Huang; Gen. Efren L. Abu; Bernido H. Liu; Margarito B. Teves; Atty. Michael T. Toledo; Wilfred Steven Uytengsu; Evangeline T. Mayuga; Susana A.S. Madrigal; Carmencita N. Reodica; and, of course, Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala.
The Children’s Hour Foundation Members are Robert Gothong; Carlos Dominguez; Guillermo Luz; Jose Cuisia Jr.; Justo Ortiz; Lisa Cheng; Lucita Lazo; Lydia Echauz; Narcisa Escaler; Patricia Licuanan; Regina Lopez; Robina Pe; Victoria Garchitorena; Vincent Fabella; Armando Salvador; Gen. Renato De Villa (ret.); Clinton Hess; Donald Patrick Lim; Jocelyn Ledesma; and Corazon De La Paz – Bernardo
Ballsy Aquino-Cruz continues to serve as Honorary Chair. Corporate Secretary and Legal Counsel is Atty. Renan R. Osero.
On March 5 of this year, the Children’s Hour will once again host its biggest fundraising event, the Children’s Hour Annual Benefit Lunch. It is my hope that this event, and the campaign itself, would encourage more people to contribute their one hour’s worth of salary for children’s causes.
This is an endeavor that is truly worth your time.