Furloughed CW finds joy in distributing care packages

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EZETH Buenaventura, a single mother, was furloughed by her employer whose store in the Garapan tourist district was shut down two months ago due to the Covid-19 crisis.

A guest worker on Saipan for 17 years now, Buenaventura is one of the volunteers of the Friends of CW, a project initiated by Irene Nepomuceno Holl to distribute care packages to contract workers who have been furloughed.

“Instead of worrying, I’m helping others, and this helps my brain to function better and to relax,” Buenaventura said.

This is not her first volunteer job. She is also a regular participant in cleanup campaigns and other community activities, including sporting events organized by the Marianas Visitors Authority.

“[Volunteering is] an act of kindness that can touch people's lives and one day it may inspire them to help others, too,” she said.

She is facing financial challenges herself — she needs to pay rent and utility bills — but she said she remains very thankful to the people who have helped her throughout her stay on Saipan.

 

Ezeth Buenaventura and friends pose during the distribution of care packages initiated by community organizer Irene Nepomuceno Holl for guest workers. Contributed photo

“They helped mold me to be the person I am today. I cannot give up and lose hope because my daughter needs me. It’s hard to be a single mom, but I'm trying to be strong just like my late mom.”

Holl said she was impressed by Buenaventura’s spirit of volunteerism.

“This is a rare situation — a person who is in need is sharing her time and effort to help others,” Holl said.

Buenaventura said it’s a great feeling to help even in a small way.

Despite everything, she added, the people on island are still blessed.

“We can still be productive while we watch each other's back. We should support the CNMI government’s efforts to keep us safe. We should also get tested and soon we will get back to our normal lives,” she said.

Buenaventura said she is also grateful to all the front line staff and first responders for their hard work and sacrifices, and to all the charitable organizations, including the Friends of CW, for reaching out to people who are in need.

 

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