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(Medyo) Cute Stickers is the brainchild of three artistic students, who were willing to share their time and effort to help those in great need during this time of national crisis.
The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic took a serious toll on the whole world, regardless of race, age, or religion. The world paused, which has put countries’ economies into a slump and forced workers into recession.
The Philippines was no stranger to the damage that the pandemic has brought. Many people lost their jobs when the lockdown measures had been imposed to control the curb of the disease. These include office employees, day-to-day workers, and public utility vehicle drivers such as tricycle and jeepney drivers, whose source of income were prohibited at the time.
Many cried for help from the government, but many were turned away by deaf ears and non-seeing eyes.
Who were to help them?
These three brilliant BS Biochemistry students from the University of the Philippines-Manila had come up with a creative initiative to heed to the calls of those in need.
Equipped with their pens and the heart to help, Alexandra (Alex) Ang, Max Faminiano, and Alexia Advento decided to sell stickers for a wonderful cause.
How they started
Alex, Max, and Alexia were known as the 'artsy' ones in their program. During these trying times, many people ventured into different businesses to save up money and keep the income coming, many of which chose the food business.
Obviously, the three wanted to try something new and different from the others.
"We said, why not something original and we're familiar with?" Max shared, regarding how they came up with the idea of creating stickers for a cause.
And so, '(Medyo) Cute Stickers' was born. The fundraising sticker shop started operating on July first of this year.
The name 'medyo (slightly) cute stickers' humbly came from... a spontaneous (and genuine) loss of idea.
"We just couldn't think of a name...," Max said. "We're being humble so we put 'medyo' before the 'cute stickers."
All three of them illustrate and create the stickers themselves, which were mostly inspired by characters from movies, books, and other media. They also share that they are hugely inspired by several artists both from the Philippines and abroad who design and sell their own cute stickers, as well.
When they first opened up in July, they targeted helping those who struggled the most due to the pandemic.
As stated in their About Us section, "sales will proceed to jeepney drivers, Lumad Bakwit school, and other individuals whose livelihood was greatly impacted by the pandemic crisis.
Among their first donation drive projects included "Singkwenta Para Kay Kuya" which is a donation drive aiming to help jeepney drivers by donating an amount as low as P50. On their first week of opening, they have successfully earned an amount of P1,730 which was donated to the mentioned drive.
They have also gathered donations for Save Our Schools Network's call to help Lumad refugees.
For the whole month of July, they have managed to donate a total amount of P5,317 for 40 jeepney drivers in Caloocan, whom they have given relief packs containing basic needs such as rice, canned goods, noodles, alcohol, and face shields.
Photo courtesy of (Medyo) Cute Stickers
They also heeded to the call for donation of incoming BS Biochemistry students in UP Manila who are in need of financial help for their prepaid load in order to attend their online classes, in which they have raised a total of 3,027, with an amount of P1,927 coming from sticker purchases
From one commission to another, one to two stickers, to ten stickers until fifty or a hundred; the proceeds went directly to their beneficiaries, whom they have successfully helped get through days during the crisis, and have put smiles on their faces.
Reaching out further
Since the fundraiser quite gathered a lot of attention and helping hands, the ‘Medyo Cute Stickers’ creators were asked on how they plan to expand their wonderful advocacy for the world to know.
Max pondered that they are looking into expanding bit by bit for the business side.
As the holiday season rushes to meet us, they plan to make something coinciding with the Christmas season.
"We might work on Christmas cards, planners or calendars, and other easy-to-print products," Max said.
"As for our advocacy, as we’ve stated in our “About Us” section, the sticker shop is here to stay and we’ll serve the people one sticker at a time," she added.
Alexa also shared that they are beginning to expand the services and products offered in their shop by accepting personal and commercial commissions.
Aside from Christmas-themed cards and calendars, they are also planning to add acrylic keychains in their list of products.
"We are open to doing custom and personalized designs with affordable prices," Alexia added.
They have also partnered up with a few teams who openly supported their cause. These teams include Lingon Durungawan Project (LDP) and Case Secured PH. LDP consists of students who offer commissioned graphic and academic services online for those who need extra help in their tasks, wherein the collected funds proceed to public school students.
There's light for those in the dark
These times are hard, and every little ounce of help — in whatever way — counts. Several individuals and families are in need of financial and emotional help; everyone needs something and someone to lean on.
"In these trying times of pandemic, our mental health takes a huge toll due to the financial hardships, social isolation, as well as fear of contracting the virus," Alexia says as a message for people struggling mentally.
"It is of importance to be kind and forgiving in big or small ways, especially to ourselves," she adds.
"Celebrating small wins, checking in with family and friends, and above all, seeking help when needed are some of the positive steps we can practice to feel better."
Their continued efforts
As of writing, they are still calling for donations in order to help several beneficiaries, which includes 205 jeepney drivers living in San Francisco del Monte, Quezon City who have not returned to their normal operations since the community quarantine started.
They are also calling for donations of Baby Essentials which will benefit a mother from Tondo, Manila with a two-month-old baby who needs clothes, diapers, and formula milk.
Photos courtesy of (Medyo) Cute Stickers
To know more about (Medyo) Cute Stickers, and how you can be of help to their beneficiaries, check out their accounts on Facebook at Medyo Cute Stickers, on Twitter at @medyocutestickers, and on Instagram at @MedyoQTStickers.
The world needs more Alex, Alexia, and Max. Salute to these girls, their ‘super’ medyo cute stickers, and absolutely heartening advocacy.