Five Loaves Two Fishes Inc. (FLTF, Inc.) & Archdiocese of Cebu started the first leg of “Gifted to Give – Bags of Hope” initiative last April 18, 2021 at Barangay Pamutan, Cebu City. A mountain barangay, Pamutan is under the jurisdiction of Mary Help of All Christians Parish – Buhisan.

A program was held where a short talk was given to the recipients about the importance of the 500 Years of Christianity in the Philippines celebration. Fr. Mhar Balili, the parish priest, stressed out the challenge of the 500 YOC celebration: Gifted to Give. “We are called to share the blessings that we receive to others,” he said. “All our gifts come from God.”

Afterwards, 100 residents received the Bags of Hope and Quincentennial Crosses.

One of the major sponsors for this distribution is Mr. Eric Mendoza, the first COVID positive from Mandaue City and a COVID survivor. He shared his blessings with others in thanksgiving for the healing he received.

“This [donation] is a form of thanksgiving for the gift of life that I received from God,” he said in his message for the recipients. “We cannot doubt what God has plans for us. For He has greater plans. I felt gifted to give today. I am very thankful for the opportunity to share my blessings to others.” The distribution was conducted by volunteers blessed by Archbishop Jose Palma during the send-off Mass on the morning of the same day, for the safety of the volunteers and the success of the project.