The He•art Trade: Students Help Frontliners Through Art

“How will we get through this?”

This is one of the questions that we frequently ask during this time of crisis. Indeed, this pandemic has tested us in a lot of aspects: financially, mentally, emotionally, and physically. During these trying times, we cannot help but feel hopeless, frustrated, and staggered. How we wish that the virus never existed. How we wish that it did not have to reach this point. How we wish that we were given ample time to prepare for such extraordinary times.

Every time I hear the news, my mind sinks in melancholy. I kept on thinking of everyone’s survival. How about the less privileged? How about the frontliners? How about the medical supplies? These questions bothered me for several days. Knowing that I’m just a student, I felt that I had no power in helping those in need. But I was proven wrong. With the support of my friends Corrinne, Ruka, and Mel, we were able to do something worthwhile. We launched The He•art Trade.

Artworks by Anna Carlos
Artworks by Mel Perez

The He•art Trade is an art-based fundraising project. With donations in exchange for personalized artworks, we were able to help a lot of our frontliners and several marginalized families through financial means and goods.

Four hundred (400) packed meals were given to our frontliners (prepared by Affordable Gourmet), and financial assistance or donations were given to sixteen families, to Woman, Create, and Alpas Collective.

Such organizations were also doing their part in providing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and sanitary products to our frontliners.

After creating more than one hundred artworks, I realized how art can also be a source of help for the good of many. That art cannot only be made for one’s pleasure but should also be made for greater purposes. I have also pondered that no matter how big or small your role is in the society, you can always choose to help. Being a student is not a hindrance to making a change.

Now, how will we get through this?

Simple. We help each other. Be it by staying at home, or practicing social distancing, or donating, or volunteering, or doing duty. As long as you are doing your part, you are already helping.

Editor’s Note: This essay was first published in The Cramming Company Blog.

About the Author / Group

Anna Francesca Carlos (rightmost in red) is part of The Cramming Company, a group comprised four Filipino youth multidisciplinary artists, including Corrinne Isabel Saroca (topmost in purple), Ruka Azuma (leftmost), and Melissa Perez (center), all with different strengths and expertise but ultimately unites in one goal: promoting art and inspiring young Filipino artists. All of them are incoming third-year Multimedia Arts and Design students.

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