MANILA, Philippines -- Several volleyball stars are banding together once more, this time to raise funds for frontliners in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Volleyball Community Gives Back to the Philippines (VCGBPH) is an organization composed of several volleyball players who have united their efforts to help the community during times of crises.
The organization was first formed in the wake of Typhoon Yolanda's destruction in 2013, where it raised funds to be donated to the people of Tacloban.
The group, led by Gretchen Ho, Charo Soriano, Alyssa Valdez, and Dzi Gervaco, has since raised funds to help other communities, such as those affected in the Marawi siege in 2017, Typhoon Lawin in 2018, and most recently the Taal Volcano unrest in January.
This time around, the group is organizing a fund-raising drive to serve the frontliners, called "Raffles for Heroes."
"I read the news everyday about the battles of our doctors, nurses, health workers, and frontliners. And I wanted to help them, to ease their pain, their burden," said Valdez.
The group intends to produce personal protective equipment (PPEs) for the medical frontliners, with an initial goal of 2,500 PPEs.
"We wanted to do our part, as much as we can. We contacted the rest of our group and planned on how to produce PPEs in the quickest time possible," said Soriano.
"Most of the suppliers of PPEs that we contacted can only deliver in 2 to 3 weeks. So one option that we thought of is to buy the raw materials and give them to the numerous sewers and designers," she added. "This way, we can produce PPEs as soon as possible, and daily, too."
The group will do raffles, where one ticket cost P300 and gives the buyer a chance to win a bundle of memorabilia -- from jerseys, training shirts, to shoes.
"The more you buy, the more chances you have of winning. Players from PSL, PVL and UAAP are all coming together and pledging their memorabilia for this cause," said Kiwi Ahomiro.
Among the players who have pledged to join the Raffles for Heroes are Valdez, Ho, Soriano, Ahomiro, Amanda Villanueva, Nicole Tiamzon, Kathy Bersola, AJ Pareja, Tatan Gata-Pantone, Sue Roces, Sasa Devanadera, Thang Ponce, Jen Nierva, Jen Reyes, Kath Arado, Ella de Jesus, Sisi Rondina, Bernadeth Pons, Dennise Lazaro, Jema Galanza, Deanna Wong, and Aby Marano.
The Philippines had 1,546 reported cases of COVID-19 as of March 30, with 78 fatalities.
For more information, visit Volleyball Community Give Back on Facebook and @vcgbph on Instagram and Twitter.
(For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website).