When we are asked to name someone that inspires us, we often list people who are older than us. When we were children, we admired our parents and teachers. In the corporate world, we admire our leaders and mentors. And aptly so, as with age comes experience and wisdom. However, there will be exceptionally gifted people younger than us who will leave us all in awe and we would gladly follow their lead. This story is about the Love Hope Faith Group, the people behind the movement, and the inspiration they give Pinoys to save a life.
Born Out of Gratefulness
Love Hope Faith Group (LHFG) is a Filipino-owned enterprise that has been helping cancer patients since 2013. Half of the net proceeds from the purchase of their products are used to fund the treatment of cancer patients. Over the last 10 years, they have helped more than 2,000 patients. This August 2023 they are celebrating their 10th anniversary.
I had the opportunity to have LHFG as one of my clients in my virtual assistance business. Their story inspired me so much and I would like to take this moment to share it with the rest of the world.
A Story of Love
In 2013, Jocelyn Meneses, a mother of two, was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer. Her sickness took a toll on her health and their family’s finances. Ate Joy, as she was fondly remembered, touched many lives. Time was ticking and their relatives looked for ways to raise the funds for her treatment.
Joel Pangan, a relative of Jocelyn, was only 23 at that time, working in the printing business, and was eager to pitch in for the family. He gave portions of his meager salary to Ate Joy and knew that it was not enough to help with the medical treatment. Lexine Pangan, his girlfriend then and now wife shared, “Binibigay nya sweldo nya, wala na halos natitira sa kanya.” (“He gives his salary for her medication even if he had almost nothing left.”)
He then began selling watches to raise funds for Ate Joy. He started with just 10 pieces and sold them in food courts, approached strangers, went up the buses to offer his product, and sold them to friends. Though he did not possess special selling skills, he spent his spare time from work looking for ways to raise the funds needed for Ate Joy.
I am very thankful kay Ate Jocelyn. Noong bata ako, pumupunta si Ate Joy sa bahay. Nagluluto sya ng champorado na may powdered milk para sa akin. Nagbigay sya ng time. Nakinig sa akin. I felt her warmth and love.Joel Pangan
(“I am very thankful for Ate Jocelyn. When I was a kid, she would go to our house and cook champorado with powdered milk for me. She gave us her time. And she had listened to what I had to say; I felt her warmth and love for me.”)
Ate Joy’s love for family and other people inspired Joel to give back by raising funds for her treatment.
Maliit yung binibigay ko sa kanya na tulong as compared sa binigay nya na time at pagmamahal sa akin. Gusto kong magbalik sa kanya.
(“The help that I gave for financing her treatment was nothing compared to the time and love she had given me. I wanted to give back to her.”)
Joel was determined to give back the love Ate Joy has given him.
Gusto ko na wag na sya mag-worry sa finances. Yung magfocus na lang sya sa paggaling.
(“I didn’t want her to worry about financing her treatment. I just wanted her to focus on getting better.”)
Love Hope Faith Group was born out of love and gratefulness. And this gratefulness transcended through the years.
A Story of Hope
More people joined in the rally to raise funds. Together with their families and friends, the movement to save a life reached more supporters. As supporters grew, the list of people they need to help also increased.
Children with Cancer
One day as Joel was having a haircut, his barber mentioned that his own son was battling cancer. Joel was enthusiastic to help. Through the purchases of their products, the funds for Ate Joy were already enough, and that they can start extending help to other patients. One of the first child beneficiaries of LHFG was his barber’s son.
As more people learned about the cause of LHFG, their personal selling went full-blown online. The group grew from friends and family helping out to hiring employees to support the operations.
The news about LHFG helping children with cancer echoed through the walls of hospitals. And soon more families approached asking for financial help.
The support from customers was immense and they are able to give help to these kids. Moreover, LHFG was able to create events and activities that gave smiles to their beneficiaries and their families.
Currently, LHFG helps at least 30 children beneficiaries each month. The queue for applicants for financial help has gotten long as more children in the past couple of years asked for help. They hope to decrease the waiting time in the queue and increase the number of people they get to help in the coming years.
In addition, Joel and Lexine share that they envision helping patients and their families not only with financial but their emotional and spiritual needs as well. They are hopeful that this dream will be achieved through the support of their customers.
Remember the first child that LHFG helped? He is now cancer-free. He is a cancer survivor.
Hope is evident in the eyes of these children and their families. And this hope inspired LHFG to push through all obstacles and struggles even further.
Ate Jocelyn was a testament that your life can bring hope and blessings to others.
A Story of Faith
Joel shares that his faith in God has changed and grown deeper through the years. He references Psalm 119:105 – “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path,” as his reminder of how he relates to others and he how handles his businesses.
In each new business that he enters into, he makes sure to connect with partners who understand and believes his mantra: How can our business be an opportunity to help?
Your life is not just for you. It is for others, too.Lexine Pangan
Lexine added that they both believe that their lives are not just for themselves and their families but for the service of others as well. They were given the platform of God to be a blessing to others as how Ate Jocelyn was to them. They are grateful not only to Ate Jocelyn but to the people who have supported their cause, those who work for them, and those who continue to inspire them to be a blessing to others.
God uses each and every one of us as an instrument; however small we may feel sometimes. He has a grander plan than we can fathom.
I asked Joel what message from the beneficiaries is very memorable to him, he said each “Salamat po” (Thank you) moves him. Hearing these children and their parents’ gratefulness brings tears to his eyes. As how LHFG was born out of gratefulness to Ate Jocelyn, these beneficiaries are also grateful for the help extended to them.
LHFG in the Future
For the future of LHFG, Joel dreams that they would be able to help more people. These include their team behind the curtains who have been tirelessly helping the cause. “Kapag masaya sila, masaya kami.” (“If they are happy, we are happy.”) They believe that in order to have a strong team that helps others, we need to make them feel fulfilled in their chosen work, talent, and calling.
For their customers, they envision a more cohesive bond between them and the beneficiaries they support. Joel shares that they have already started this objective.
On the other hand, for their beneficiaries, they dream to extend the help to others. Currently, they are only able to help children ages 0-15 years old with cancer. Hopefully in the future, that help can be extended to all ages.
You can learn more about them at www.lovehopefaithgroup.com
Finally, I would like to thank Joel and Lexine for the time to interview them. They and their families have been an inspiration to me. After this interview, I was left more in admiration by their big hearts. It is a pleasure to be part of a team that helps others. It is not work, it is a calling.
COMCO Mundo’s “UNMASKED: The COMCO Mundo Write to Ignite Season 3
This story is an entry to COMCO Mundo’s “UNMASKED: The COMCO Mundo Write to Ignite Season 3”. The initiative aims to pull and collate powerful stories from the Philippine blogging communities. “UNMASKED” aims to explore how each mask is a person brimming with hope and wonders to share with others, as well as why it is important to tell their inspiring journeys in life. The “Write to Ignite” Season 3 is made possible by COMCO Mundo League of Enterprises, with Airasia, Babyflo, PHILUSA Corporation, Century Tuna, Licealiz, Lamoiyan Corporation, Rémy Martin, and Uratex Monoblock as brand partners.