Article by: Mae Kirkpatrick

Anchor: Nate de Villa

Cinematographer: Curt Zabala

Editor: Francis Acevedo

Charity work has always been a large aspect in the ISM community, with most of the schools’ major events linked to raising funds for a variety of community service programs around the Philippines. Beyond the school-associated activities that take place, sometimes students will take initiative to organize activities that are non-school events, such as Operation Smile Paint-a-thon that was held this Saturday, February 28. The Paint-a-thon is an an event organized by the ISM National Honor Society, where ISM students and other community members come together for a day of painting. The day then culminates in the participants’ paintings being auctioned off to raise donations for Operation Smile. What makes a non-school event different from the traditional school events it that it is organized by students without the access to certain school facilities such as transportation. All participants must find their own transportation for the event and students running the event take responsibility for collecting materials such as paint, canvases, as well as food and entertainment for the day. Despite the fact the Paint-a-thon is a non-school event, it is still popular amongst students at ISM, showcasing the dedication many ISM students have for service in that they are willing to put in the extra time and effort needed to contribute to community service. Ysabel Ayala, a council member of NHS, agreed with this, saying, “It’s an opportunity for students to collaborate with people outside of school whilst doing something lovable and entertaining. It’s service work without the work.” Robbi Sy, who helped in organising the event, added his insights on the activity’s uniqueness, saying, “It’s an event that is perceived as a very unique method of fundraising. This is an event in which you can sit in the garden with your friends, as you paint your way through a kid’s smile!” It is evident that the Paint-a-thon is a much more unique event in comparison to the other fundraisers usually promoted around school, and not just because it is not labeled an official ISM event. Commenting on the Paint-a-thon’s focus on art, Ysabel Ayala felt that “art is just a widely enjoyable (and profitable) medium for the audience we are targeting. It’s simple enough for all ages and is a family activity.” In terms of the event’s objective, Robbi Sy quoted that his main hope of what to achieve is that they “raise enough funds from this event in order to bring kids to the surgery room for their cleft palate surgery,” while Ysabel hoped the Paint-a-thon would be able to not only “inspire those who don’t trust in their creativity, but most importantly, to put a smile on a child’s face. Everyone should have the gift of a smile and this is just one opportunity that allows children to enjoy smiling and make others smile in the process.”