By Nickie Wang
Driving along Edsa, northbound and before approaching Guadalupe Bridge, you will see a huge interactive billboard that can only be seen during the day because it is only partly lit at night. You can find it on the side of one of the tallest buildings in the area. The huge billboard that features a very familiar smile icon will send a significant message in the coming days with your help. Yes, with just one text you can make one bulb be switched on and help one of the 300 hundred kids that will be benefited by the effort.
In cooperation with the Virlanie Foundation, an organization dedicated to uplifting the lives of street children by giving them a sense of family, support and love, Enervon is launching “Share the Happy”, a new advocacy campaign for the benefit of hundreds of neglected but deserving youth.
“We encourage everyone to help light up the billboard,” Toni Gonzaga appealed to the members of the press during the launch of the campaign on Dec. 4. “You become happy when you share your blessings. It gives you a sense of fulfillment that is why I believe it’s time for us to give back.”
According to the young actress and host, the Virlanie Foundation was founded in the Philippines in 1992 and that in the last 17 years, the foundation has helped and cared for more than 11,000 street children.
“I support this cause because it is so inspiring. We are a third world country but we find time to share smiles and help one another. Just like the deed of [Efren] Peñaflorida, this year’s CNN Asian hero, he proves that we make a difference in spite of having limited resources,” Toni enthused.
When the billboard is fully lighted, a donation will be formally made by Enervon to the Virlanie Foundation on behalf of all who supported the cause. The “Share the Happy” text drive will run until Dec. 28.
“We are very thankful to Enervon for choosing Virlanie as its beneficiary in this worthy cause. Their support will help change the lives of many young people who otherwise, would have stayed in the streets, and would have not developed into responsible individuals,” said Dominique Lemay, founder and president of Virlanie Foundation.
The Virlanie Foundation is committed to helping improve the lives of street children through the provision of food and clothes, a family home, and opportunities to study. Many of the children in the foundation share the same story: born into hardship and poverty, they do not stand a fair chance of reaching their full potential.
Edsa’s biggest smile
“Through this initiative, we want to make these children feel that we care. In our own way and with the help of the public, we know we can make a difference,” said Jalene Tiu, Enervon product manager.
The official said that Unilab, maker of Enervon, has been supporting Virlanie Foundation not just because the company believes in its genuine deeds but because they also share the same vision.
“We don’t get any revenue from this project. We just want to help the kids in Verlanie. Your one text will help a lot to light up the biggest smile on Edsa,” Tiu added.
The public is encouraged to help light up the billboard and pledge their support for the cause by texting “Refill” to 2948. Each text message is a sign of support which translates to an additional light on the billboard.
Apart from Toni Gonzaga, other celebrities who support the “Share the Happy” campaign are GMA-7 reporter Love Añover and former Pinoy Big Brother Teen housemate Josef Elizalde.