The MCGI Free Store is a charity initiative of the Members Church of God International (MCGI) that provides free grocery items of their choice to indigents. Physical store branches are set up and are in operation across the globe that people may visit. But due to the pandemic and to provide even more convenience to the beneficiaries, volunteers of the mobile Free Store in Pangasinan will deliver their chosen grocery items right at their doorsteps.
Susana Estigoy, one of the beneficiaries of the mobile MCGI Free Store in Pangasinan, solely supports her family by selling vegetables in their area. She works every day, rain or shine, knowing that no one else will help them.
In 2010, her husband Silverio had a stroke in Manila while driving a taxi. While her son Jerome has a mental problem caused by a seizure that was not treated immediately when he was young. Both her husband and son’s medication is lifelong.
There were days when Susana can’t even provide Jerome’s milk as her earnings are just enough to buy rice. “Kanina po dumating ako naghanap ng a-am sabi ko wala akong pambili ng gatas. P150 lang iyong kinita ko, kaya ayun tumigil [sa pag-iyak si Jerome]. Nagpunta kami sa gilid ng ilog, inaliw-aliw ko siya kako bukas baka sakaling palarin ako magtinda, makabili na tayo ng gatas.”
(Earlier when I came home, he was looking for milk and I said I don’t have money to buy it. I only earned P150. He only stopped crying when I brought him to the riverside, I comforted and told him that, hopefully, tomorrow I will earn more, then we can buy milk.) Another beneficiary Susan Catubig has almost the same predicament as Susana: her father is blind and her older brother Leo has been suffering from polio since he was a child. Her husband farms for their daily subsistence. She expressed that life is more difficult now because of the lockdown brought about by the pandemic.
These indigent families are the reason why the mobile MCGI Free Store went to Barangay Pampano, Mangatarem, Pangasinan. The truck was parked right in front of their homes so that they would not have a hard time getting their needs. The mobile store is packed with grocery items, rice, fruits, meats, biscuits, milk, and even food supplements.
Susana couldn’t contain her happiness saying, “Tuwang-tuwa kami. Maraming biyaya na dumating sa amin, hindi namin akalain na darating.” (We are so happy. So many blessings came to us. We were not expecting this.)
Her husband Silverio is also beyond grateful: “Unang-una po, nagpapasalamat ako sa Dios na dumating po kayo dito sa amin. Hindi po namin akalain na mayroong biyaya na bigay po ninyo.” (First of all, I thank God that you came here. We did not expect that you would give us these blessings.)
Susan is deeply grateful that she could not hide her tears. “Maraming maraming salamat po sa inyo, sa Dios po, napili po ‘yung Kuya ko. Salamat po, masaya po, maraming salamat po. Makakatulong po ito ng marami lalo po sa kanya, sa tatay ko po.” (Many thanks to you and to God. My older brother was chosen as one of the beneficiaries. Thank you, we are happy, thank you very much. This is a big help to us especially to my father.)
The mobile MCGI Free Store will continue to go around more areas to reach out to people in need especially in these hard times.
For more information regarding the MCGI Free Store and other charitable works of the Church, please visit www.mcgi.org/public-services.