Sunday, February 27, 2011

FS Perks and the Hospicio de San Jose

One of the advantages of having a part-time job is being able to get involved in ways you don't have the energy for when you work 40+ hours/week. One of the advantages of living overseas as part of the US Embassy community is that it is relatively easy to get involved through organizations such as Manila's USEC.

In February I organized a diaper drive for my favorite local charity, the Hospicio de San Jose [HSJ]. I fell in love with HSJ in December when I attended the Marines' Toys for Tots presentation as USEC's representative, and every time I go back I am struck by the institution's positive energy.

Toys for Tots in December 2010

HSJ cares for orphans, special needs children/adults, and the elderly. Many special needs children are not adopted, and they live out their lives at HSJ.  

Ambassador Thomas greets HSJ residents. 

Many years ago, HSJ had a "turning cradle" stationed at its entrance, where women could surrender their babies anonymously. The mother would place her baby inside the "cradle," ring a bell, and turn it around, signifying that she had given her baby up for adoption. 

The turning cradle is now housed in HSJ's museum.

The US Embassy community donated nearly 7000 adult and children's diapers to HSJ, and we had the honor of presenting them to Sister Corrie and the HSJ staff today. 

Ambassador Thomas with the HSJ Sisters

We were greeted with song and dance at every turn!

This little boy can really get his groove on!

Our last entertainment was a performance of the Macarena

I consider opportunities such as these a perk of life in the Foreign Service. For more information on becoming a USEC volunteer, please visit its Facebook page. For more infomation on the Hospicio de San Jose, please click here to visit a Web page maintained by one of HSJ's alumni. 


  1. Glad to see you blogging again!

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