Makabayan Georgia, Inc. in the next decade… Sharing is Caring!

The first and premier Filipino American organization in Georgia is the Filipino-American Association of Greater Atlanta. Established in 1974, Fil-Am did not only banded together the Filipino-Americans in Georgia, it also preserved the Philippine heritage and culture in our youth and promoted it to the rest of Georgia. Through the years, as the number of Filipino-Georgians increased and the needs and wants of the community changed, a great number of quality community leaders stepped up to meet the new challenges by establishing new groups or organizations, according to geographical social groups, professional groups, business and church groups. The Philippine American Chamber of Commerce of Georgia was established in 1995 and is one of the direct offshoot from and which complimented the first Fil-Am Association of Greater Atlanta.

Having achieved the American dream, most Filipino-Americans find themselves compelled to share this new found blessings to make a difference in the lives of Filipinos in the Philippines and in their own local communities.

Thus Makabayan Georgia, Inc. was established in 2008 to empower these Filipino Georgians and friends of the Philippines in Georgia, to do just that. All former Fil-Am presidents and some PACCGA past presidents, the Makabayan directors, http://makabayangeorgia.org/about-us , consolidated their funds and minds to establish a Filipino-American 501 (C)(3) organization based in Georgia, to empower Filipino Georgians and friends, to make a difference in their communities, in the Philippines, and elsewhere in the world. All contributions to MGI are tax deductible under section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code as a Public Charity entity with 501 (C) (3) tax exempt status.

First to benefit from Makabayan Georgia was Fil-Am in June 2008, when it hosted the 2nd June 12 Kalayaan celebrations, with Willy Blanco as president. That set the precedent for Makabayan Georgia be the fiscal agent of the June 12 Kalayaan celebrations to present. The June 12 Kalayaan celebrations is a joint project of the office of the Philippine Honorary Consul General of Atlanta and the various Filipino American organizations in Georgia and nearby states to provide a venue and a platform for all Filipino Americans in Georgia and nearby states, celebrate and declare our Philippine heritage, as one Filipino community. This annual celebration is joined by as many as 21 different Filipino American organizations and churches.

The Filipino-American Association of Greater Atlanta continues to benefit from Makabayan Georgia through the years, receiving small grant moneys in conjunction with Makabayan’s scholarship program and civic engagement program (voter registration drive) and other projects, totaling $4,700.00 to date.

Because of its geographical location and make up, dozens of tropical storms hit the Philippines on a yearly basis. Whenever the government declares national disaster as a result of a tropical storm, Makabayan sends a minimum of $500 to the affected areas through a local contact or NGO. First of these disaster relief donations was to Cagayan de Oro when Sendong hit the area. Makabayan, then CEO Willee Bonus, taking time off his vacation time in the Philippines, went to affected areas and distributed rice to hundreds of families worth, $1,000. Makabayan later decided in later cases to send help through the “Sagip Kapamilya” project of ABS-CBN, which has totaled to $1,500 thus far.

Makabayn Georgia first came to the limelight when it rose to the occasion in the aftermath of super typhoon Haiyan and collected about $75,000 to help the victims. The highlight of the fundraising effort was the dinner fundraiser in Happy Valley Restaurant, where the restaurant provided free dinners to more than 400 donors and raised $25,000 in one night. The collected Haiyan funds were disbursed as follows;

·         Rehabilitation of Bethany Hospital in Tacloban

·         Rice distribution to thousands of typhoon victims in Tacloban

·         Funded freight costs for over a million dollars worth of medical supplies and equipment of Yonkofa project, through the De Guzman Ramos group.

·         Provided livelihood to 20 families through the “Sikad”, tricycle project

·         Provided seed money to a number of families through the “Sari-Sari Store” livelihood project

·         Two water filtration systems to provide clean drinking water to an elementary school and a residential village benefitting more than a thousand families

Makabayan Georgia, Inc. also partnered with Caring for Others, Inc., http://www.caring4others.org/, who donated 27,000 pairs of shoes as part of their No Bare Soles project. These Skechers shoes were distributed as follows;

·         Clarkston International Bible Church, benefitting several hundreds of refugees in the Clarkston area.

·         Jesus the Redeemer Church GA (JRTCGA), Acworth, GA

·         Vietnamese American Community of Georgia

·         Thai Association-World Center USA

·         Palawan Project of Emory Rotary through Pia Valeriano

·         Quezon, Philippine project through Galing Foundation

·         Cotabato Project through Galing Foundation

·         Tacloban Project through Makabayan GA (Eleanor Pascual)

·         Zamboanga Project through Makabayan GA (Didi O’Connor)

·         Olongapo Project through Bonus Foundation

·         Greece Project through Harry Norman Realtors

 

Makabayan Georgia has given small grants to the following;

·         Filipino Student Association (FSA) - $1,000

·         Philippine American Women’s Association of Georgi (PAWAG) - $1,500

·         Bohol Restoration Project - $1,000

·         Caring for Others - $2,500

Makabayan Georgia unceremoniously celebrated a milestone in 2018 (10 year anniversary of Makabayan GA, Inc.) with the largest June 12 celebration thus far, with more than 400 attendees at the infamous GA Aquarium banquet hall.

Going into the next decade of its operation, Makabayan Georgia Inc. is launching the “SHARING IS CARING” Grant Awards Project, to benefit up to 10 grant recipients, to eligible Filipino-American groups or organizations in Georgia with approved projects reflecting the goals and ideals of Makabayan Georgia, Inc. This project is slated to be an annual project, in line with its mission statement of “empowering Filipino Americans and friends of the Philippines to make a difference in the lives of Filipinos in the Philippines and in their own communities”, Makabayan Georgia brings together the donors and the doers in making such difference.

A single $100 donation can easily multiply to thousands of dollars when we consolidate dozens or hundreds of donors. Makabayan Georgia, Inc. is sending an appeal to all Filipino Americans and friends of the Philippines, in Georgia to join us empower both yourselves and the various Filipino American organizations in Georgia to make a difference in your local communities and/or in the Philippines. There are a lot of worthwhile projects waiting to be implemented by various organizations, only to be hindered by lack of funding.

Please visit our website to apply or donate; http://makabayangeorgia.org/

Download the 2019 SHARING IS CARING Grant Awards Application PDF file