A Creative Way to Donate and Share Kindness
How loving kindness in the family developed character and strength in a young woman and inspires her to create and donate to those in need around the world.
A Creative Way To Donate And Share Kindness
Lois Paula: Many people may not know what their goals are, yet even later in life. But for some, it is clear, even at a young age. We first met Jessica Borlongan almost a decade ago when she shared her story about the Jessicakes Project. And now, 10 years later, the Jessicakes Project is still going stronger than ever.
Jessica Borlongan: It first started in 2011, and that’s where my first charity projects began. In high school, in junior year, I decided at one point, I like sweets, and I like helping people. I was able to raise funds through selling cookies on the Facebook Marketplace or the community post. And it began from there and I use the proceeds to donate to my charity of choices such as the American Heart Foundation, the Red Cross and some others that also have to do with healthcare.
Lois Paula: And despite a pandemic, she still found a way to keep the project moving–which has even made its way across the Pacific Ocean.
Jessica Borlongan: Right now it’s all about these little fundraisers that I kind of hold every other week or so to be able to raise funds for the charities. One of them is Kwaderno Project. I have been working with them for like the past year or so. It’s based in the Philippines. The Kwaderno Project is about helping kids get the necessary equipment needed for schooling and doing their homework, like giving them notebooks and pencils and all of them needed for their studies.
Lois Paula: The needs of her local community are still a part of her focus as well.
Jessica Borlongan: There’s so many projects about that and I have definitely also helped with Californians For All in donating there as well. There are a lot of elderly, even before the pandemic they were affected by isolation, so for them to see that others care about them is very touching to them and they’re so thankful and genuine about it.
Lois Paula: In addition to the needs of the youth and elderly, her attention is drawn to those with medical needs.
Jessica Borlongan: I have worked with Icing Smiles over the years and they are a nonprofit organization that helps donate cakes to families afflicted by chronic illnesses. So we have made cakes for young children. I remember in particular,this young baby with a heart defect. In a sense he kind of had two first birthdays, one for his actual day of birth, and the second when he had his heart surgery to commemorate that day.
Lois Paula: This has also influenced her to pursue another goal–medical school.
Jessica Borlongan: My inspiration to go into the medical field began around the time I was also starting the JessiCakes Project. So I thought to myself that medicine would be a really good place to go because I like helping people. So that’s where my journey began. I hope to either be a primary care physician or a neurologist, but I definitely would like to work with patients throughout their lives and make really good solid patient doctor relationships with them.
Lois Paula: With her goals clearly in sight at such a young age, what could possibly have been such a strong influence on this young woman?
Jessica Borlongan: Oh my faith in God has a lot to do with how I carry myself in life. God taught us to be kind to one another so I try to do that in any way that I can. God has also taught us to generous, and it also starts in the home because my parents on their own, they’re very generous people. They’re really kind so they have also been a big part in how I am, how I carry myself and why I even began the project to begin with. Personally, I’m also kind of shy even, even back then, but I told myself that if I don’t try then it will never happen. Try because you shouldn’t be afraid of failure. When you stand back up again, you can find success. So my advice is, especially if you want to give back to others, find something that you’re good at and try to transform it into something positive.
Lois Paula: Remember, whenever you possibly can, do good to those who need it. You’re watching the INC Giving Show, I’m Lois Paula.