“One person, one day, and one journey at a time, you can make a difference that can leave a lasting impact.” – Dr. Zsa Zsa May T. Meneses

Over the last couple of months, it has spread like crazy, transmitting from person to person, city to city, and even from one country to another.

The novel coronavirus, yes – but also the collective action meant to battle it.

Organizations and individuals have stepped up the efforts in the fight against the COVID-19 global pandemic that the country now faces. One of them is Dr. Zsa Zsa May T. Meneses, a medical doctor from Tuguegarao City and a national awardee of the 2019 Search for Outstanding Volunteers.

Dr. Zsa Zsa had to close her clinic few days after the declaration of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in Luzon. But it did not stop her in attending to the medical consultation needed by her regular patients as well as those suffering from acute illnesses. She offers a free online consultation, wherein patients can message her directly in her Facebook account for their medical concerns.

Aside from the free online consultation initiative, Dr. Zsa Zsa has also partnered with different individuals and organizations in providing relief goods to the students stranded in Tuguegarao City due to the ECQ.

On 1 April 2020, with the support of Tuguegarao City Mayor Atty. Jefferson Soriano, Rotary Club of Tuguegarao President and City Councilor Boyet Ortiz, RAC Pres. John Escobar, Harry Alegado of Peer Helpers Organization of UCV, Tuguegarao City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (TCDRRMO), and the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO), around 218 relief packs were provided to the students. The students who received relief packs came from different private and public schools.

As of this writing, with the assistance of some volunteer youth leaders, she is continuously gathering donations and has already distributed approximately 500 packs to support the stranded students who are mostly from Batanes and Cauayan, Isabela. She reassures the students that even though they are far from home, they still have a family within the community willing to extend support especially in this time of crisis.

With her unbridled passion for volunteerism, it is already a natural reaction for Dr. Zsa Zsa to help and assist in the government’s efforts to lighten the impact of the ECQ. As her mother once said, “Love is not patronizing and charity isn’t about pity, it is about love. Charity and love are the same – with charity you also give love, so it’s better not to just give money but also to reach out your hand instead.” This is what keeps her motivated, along with the other youth volunteers, to not hesitate in extending a helping hand.

For her team, seeing the smiles and hearing thank yous from people is enough boost in their hearts to do more good things to those in need and for the whole community.