50 Filipinos and Counting
60 relatives and Counting
Nine grandparents, 20 moms/dads/aunts/uncles, and 30 children. (Plus several more because honestly I lose track with how many there are in this family) With a number this big, opportunities to see each other are very slim. Additionally, we are all spread out across the US. Many live in California, some in Washington and Oregon, a few in Texas, and the rest in Florida and Virginia. However, no matter the distance and no matter how much time has passed since we were all together, we always pick up right where we left off.
We do not know how we are all related, but that has never mattered. There are no “second” or “step” cousins or uncles. The only label we put on each is family, and truthfully that is the only one that matters.
At the core of our family is our roots to the Philippines. This is the origin of our nine grandparents and where many relatives were raised. All of the aunts and uncles have spent some amount of time in the Philippines but only a portion of the children have ever visited. However, that is all about to change. This Christmas around 50 of us are making the long trek over to the Philippines. We get to experience life where it all began for the family, together. This is such an incredible opportunity because not only do we get to visit the place that connects us, but serve the Ati village of Boracay Island as well.
Due to their dark skin color and lack of education, the Ati people have been outcasted in their own homeland. They are stripped of basic necessities that we take for granted daily. No opportunity to go to school, no doctor to provide care, nothing. While Boracay has become a popular tourist destination, it has done nothing to ensure their indigenous people are taken care of. However, my family has created the Kamay Project to start helping these beloved individuals who are in desperate need. Our vision behind this project is to serve these Ati by providing them with medical, dental, and educational assistant. Additionally, we are going to work alongside the Mission of Love Integrated School to help them prepare for their school year.
This holiday season I urge you to consider donating to our Kamay project. Whether you are able to donate a small or large amount of money, anything helps. Even donating time to pray for this trip would mean the world. It has been rewarding to see that this dream of ours has actually turned into a reality, but we definitely still need that last push of support with only a few days left of preparations.
As our family comes together to join hands and serve we extend them out to you in hope of your help.
Lauren Mogg and family.