In the midst of the novel coronavirus pandemic, everyday heroes are emerging all over the world.
Raina Ominga owns and operates Raina’s Bakery in San Juan del Monte, Philippines. Though her business has slowed considerably with more people staying home, one pizza delivery driver came by her shop every day to purchase at least 300 pieces of bread.
Curious, Raina finally asked why the driver was buying so much bread. She was stunned by his response. It turns out that the driver, later identified as Raymond Papellero, was using his own tip money to buy the bread to distribute to homeless people in Quezon City.
Raina was so impressed by Raymond’s kindness that she shared the story on Facebook, where it went viral. Raymond explained that he’d gone hungry as a child himself, so seeing people in need as he made his deliveries urged him into action.
“They could be found around Araneta Center, and I think I see more of them as the days go by,” he said. “There are no shoppers who could give food to them [because of the Luzon lockdown]. Even some of them who don’t even look like beggars are asking for food.”
“When I give them food, they end up crying. They even tell me that their last meal was the night before I spoke to them. I know that what I am giving is not enough but at least they could survive for a few hours. I hope someone else could give them [food, too].”
Things aren’t easy for Raymond right now, either. He’s got three kids at home and his wife is out of work and pregnant. Still, helping others makes him feel better, so he’s setting aside his tips and a bit of his own salary to feed others. “I’m doing this to help people and I’m not expecting anything in return. God will take care of me,” he said.
Once Raina’s Facebook post went viral, more people began sending Raymond donations for his cause. He was able to purchase water to give out with this bread on his last outing. When his employer found out what he was up to, Pizza Hut sent him a check for 10,000 Philippine pesos.
Raymond says that doing the deed is as much reward as he needs, and he’ll continue to do his part to make sure his neighbors are okay! This is just another example of how some people are stepping up when the rest of the world is forced to step back.
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