I’d like to share a story. This story has nothing to do with marketing or promotional products. This is a story about a boy. This is a story about Nilo.
Nilo was a 7-year-old boy living in the Philippines. He was living on the streets with his mother, who was both a drug addict and mentally unfit to be a parent. No one knew who his father was. The boyfriend of Nilo’s mother apparently decided he didn’t want to be responsible for raising Nilo either, so one day he walked with Nilo into a nearby forest. There, he took out a machete and attempted to kill Nilo by cutting his head off. No one knows why he decided to do this, least of all Nilo.
As the man was bringing the machete down for the fatal blow, Nilo turned his head at the last second, deflecting the blow away from his neck. The machete caught Nilo on his chin and right shoulder, but he was still alive. He laid on the ground, playing dead until the man left him there, alone.
After some time, Nilo got up, left the forest and wandered into the city, but had no place to go. He wound up at the city bus terminal, where he remained for the next three days. Hungry, now naked, alone and bleeding, he was just one of many poor and neglected children in the area, so he was overlooked by those walking by. That is, until Bryan and Diane Thomas noticed the severely wounded little boy looking for help. Bryan and Diane are the co-founders of a non-profit organization called Humanility, whose focus is to rescue, empower and educate street children in the Philippines.
Bryan and Diane immediately took Nilo to the city hospital, where they cleaned and bandaged the wounds. However, after three days in a
dirty bus terminal with no treatments, the wounds were severely infected. The city hospital said he would need more treatment and plastic surgery, which they could not do.
So, Bryan and Diane took him back to one of their centers to care for him while he went to a larger medical facility to begin a series of treatments for the infection as well as the necessary plastic surgery. While at the center, Nilo’s mother was found and a police report was filed against the boyfriend (who ultimately went to prison). Nilo’s mother was deemed unfit to raise a child, especially while on the streets. So, with his mother’s consent, Nilo was officially admitted to Humanility’s Lighthouse Center.
The physical wounds began to heal, but the emotional wounds were still real and raw. Nilo was scared to leave the house and to play with others. Over time though, along with the help of one of Humanility’s social workers at the Lighthouse Center, Nilo learned how to cope with his emotions and eventually started to leave the house more frequently, while being able to confidently play with new friends.
Now, Nilo is a 14-year-old boy, growing and learning under the care of the teachers and leaders at Humanility. He’s discovered a passion for art, basketball and pickleball. He’s developed a strong sense of confidence and says when he gets older, he wants to be a police officer, in an effort to protect those who cannot protect themselves, and help children avoid the terrors he experienced.
So why is this story on a marketing blog? Obviously, it’s an emotional one that is partly meant to draw attention to the horrors some children have to face in our world. However, it’s also meant to serve as both a reminder and as motivation. A reminder, as we approach the holidays, that not every adult or child is afforded the same level of comfort, safety and generosity so many of us are accustomed to. We want this to serve as motivation to consider doing something more. It can be done as an individual, with your family or even within the work environment. More and more organizations are putting an emphasis on using their profits to make an impact in society. Check to see if your team or place of employment is one of those organizations or has a non-profit, they’re affiliated with. If not, ask why. Then, take the lead and be that catalyst for change instead of waiting for someone else to do it.
At INM, we’re working hard on developing what our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives look like. Part of that includes our partnership with Humanility. Even though geographical boundaries make it tough for us to physically serve, we’re still able to make an impact to their mission through financial support, offering services and educating our networks about their mission.
It doesn’t matter if it’s Humanility or another non-profit that you’re passionate about, we encourage you to do something this season, no matter how large or small it is. Because something is always more than nothing.
If you want to learn more about what Humanility is doing, and how they are positively affecting and empowering the street children of the Philippines, please check out their website, and if you’re as moved by what they’re doing as we were, then please look into a sponsorship opportunity.