Global Initiatives

Matt Santos '17 Shares Recap of Philippines Projects

Dear Tower Hill parents, faculty, and students,

My name is Matthew Santos and I have just finished my senior year and graduated from Tower Hill. As some of you may know, I have spent a lot of time organizing projects to benefit people in the Philippines, which is where my family is from. I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all the parents, faculty and students for all the support I have received throughout the last four years. Here is the recap of the work Tower Hill and I were able to accomplish:
 
2013- In November of 2013, Typhoon Haiyan, one of the deadliest hurricanes ever recorded, hit the city of Tacloban, Philippines. It claimed over 6,000 lives and destroyed the homes of thousands of people. To help with the relief effort, I organized a $2 Jeans Day within the Upper School. Demonstrating its incredible generosity, the Upper School was able to raise around $600 dollars, which was an incredible feat for a division of only about 270 students. The money went to an organization called Gawad Kalinga, which helped the typhoon relief effort by building new homes and providing food for the victims.
 
2015- During my yearly travels to the Philippines, one of the things I have always noticed was that there were many people, especially kids, who did not have shoes. I really wanted to help them, so I organized a shoe drive at Tower Hill called the Got Shoes? project within the Upper School. We collected around 200 pairs of used shoes from students and faculty and donated them to the Biao Guianga Elementary School in Davao, Philippines. I personally delivered the shoes to the kids that same summer. The children at the school were so grateful and inspired by Tower Hill’s generosity.

2016- Encouraged by the success of the first Got Shoes? project, I organized a second shoe drive within the Upper School. We collected 124 pairs of used shoes and sports equipment and donated them to the Biao Guianga Elementary School. They recently arrived and were distributed on May 17, 2017. The school was so appreciative of the continued support that Tower Hill had shown.

None of these projects would have been possible without the support from parents, faculty and students, so thank you so much. It is really special and inspiring to me knowing that the Tower Hill community is fully supportive of these projects. Thank you for playing an integral role in making these projects successful, as you are undoubtedly making a positive difference in people's’ lives.

On another note, even though I have graduated, I am happy to announce that these projects were just the beginning of something bigger. I have been coordinating with the Tower Hill administration and project coordinators in the Philippines, and I am in the process of forging a formal partnership between Tower Hill and Biao Guianga Elementary School that will hopefully last for years to come. Whether it’s Biao Guianga students receiving donations or Tower Hill students learning about life in a developing country, the possibilities are endless. I cannot thank you enough for the support I have received over the past four years, and I look forward to your continued support for future projects.

Although I have not yet finalized the details of the partnership, if you would like to contact me and learn more about the previous projects, feel free to email me at ths1796@towerhill.org.
 
Sincerely,
Matthew Santos
 
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