Two Fil-American athletes Isang Smith and Jessica Lynn Barnard have contributed shoes to children in need in the Philippines. Pinoyathletics is very proud of our two members of the Fil-Heritage program for there generous efforts to assist and help Filipino children who are in need.
Isang Smith with Team Titus
Both Isang and Jessica joined the National Open last year. Isang won the womens 1500 meters and was second in the 800 meters. The 27 year old who hails from New York was working with former National Coach Saturino Salazar and his group ‘Team Titus’. Back in March coach Salazar and Isang teamed up with Ramsey quijano to volunteer there coaching skills with ‘Cebu House of Hope’ and ‘Cebu Kythe Foundation’. Through Shoes for PlanetEarth they were able to receive 56 pairs of shoes for both groups.
They spent two days in Cebu leading both groups of children through running drills and taught them the importance of movement, gave them confidence to transform themselves through sports, and empowered them to set goals.
Her next project will be with Advancement for Rural Kids where they will work to provide a running workshop for villages in Capiz where students will be introduced to running and bring health and wellness activities into the communities as well as help them achieve higher levels of education.
During my visit to the Philippines, I went to Cebu City to work with two groups of children where we provided running activities and programs for them.
The first group is composed of abused girls (6 to 18 years old) who are victims of incest. They are housed in a center run by Franciscan sisters called the Cebu Hope Center. The second group is composed of families with kids who are battling cancer. These are mostly kids 6-18 years old supported by the #Kythe foundation for psycho-social care.
We injected #Running to become a part of both groups therapy. Thanks to @shoes_for_planet_earth there are now 56 pairs of shoes packed and ready to help them on this journey. It’s a very exciting time and more great moments to come!!
Jess Barnard with Katherine Khay Santos
Jess Barnard on the other hand is the SEA Games Bronze medalist 2013 & 2015, National Record Holder and National Champion in the Steeple Chase. She tied up with her team mate Katherine Khay Santos (aka. The Dude) 2011 SEA Games Bronze medalist in the Long Jump, and started collecting shoes for young athletes in Baguio.
With all that running has given to me, I want to give back. I am currently working on “Project: Share a Pair” which gives athletes here in the US the ability to donate shoes to athletes in the Philippines who run and train barefoot.
Jessica through instagram reached out to all of her followers (including friends, family, teammates, runners, professional runners, etc). She shared photos and explained how most athletes in the Philippines run and train barefoot, getting a tremendous response! People from all over the US were willing to donate shoes to these athletes. So far, she has received about three boxes FULL of shoes that are ready to be sent to the Philippines.
It makes me so happy to know that runners care for runners, and that we can “share a pair” with others in need