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  • Kiana Abiva

Carol's 70th Birthday: A Celebration of Generosity and Togetherness

On January 13, 2024, a day of unity and celebration unfolded as Carol’s family and friends planned and gathered to honor this remarkable woman who dedicated her life to help and serve those in need. The event held at the Hilton Westchase Hotel in Houston Texas brought together her loved ones who are also committed to making a positive impact on the lives of the poor.

During her speech, Carol showed extra gratitude to GK USATexas, for their continuous support for her since 2003. The community’s dedication to eradicating poverty in the Philippines through various fundraising and awareness campaigns has truly aided Carol in her mission to serve. She also expressed gratitude to the GK USA family, including former GK USA Chairman, Tony Olaes, the GK Texas Area Director, Jun Amores, and Mylene Supan-Rivas, a GK Texas member, for serving alongside her as dedicated leaders.

Acknowledging her role as GK USA's Executive Director, Carol thanked Area Directors and Core groups across various states for embracing her leadership. This includes GK USA Next Gen. This new generation of heroes, as she called them, is equipped to carry the mission of eradicating poverty into 2050.

The celebration showcased the spirit of generosity and unity that defines GK USA's mission. Carol's wish for her 70th birthday was not just for personal blessings but also for the organization to attract more members to act urgently in heeding the call for radical heroism. The celebration served as an invitation to spread hope and join the GK family in their pursuit of a poverty-free Philippines.

When Carol returned to the Philippines, on January 21, participants from various Gawad Kalinga (GK) villages gathered in celebration of GK USA’s Executive Director, Carol Tulud's, 70th birthday in a form of a Gawad Kalinga USA retreat. During the program, individuals of all ages, representing villages from GK Luzant Porac, GK Tacasan, GK Consuelo, GK Conception Tarlac, and Prayers of Day Foundation immersed themselves in activities designed not only to commemorate Carol's milestone but also to foster community bonds, share success stories, and reinforce their commitment to GK's advocacy.

Beyond the joyous celebration, the objective was clear: to encourage communication and camaraderie among the communities. Participants engaged in games, shared GK success stories, and deepened their understanding of one another.

Carol's 70th birthday celebration included another speech from the celebrant and a special Zoom call with Dale Lugue, a long-time Gawad Kalinga mission worker and thecommunity caretaker of GK Bagong Silang, the first GKVillage, who talked about the GK story. The event featuredtalks from influential figures such as a Kalinga Leader, SEEDgraduates, and a representative from Mary the QueenCollege. A group discussion ensued, allowing participants toshare their involvement in Gawad Kalinga and their sentiments about the organization's work.

Dan Bercasio, Executive Director of Gawad Kalinga CDFI, shared his inspiring journey of service and success within the organization. He outlined his aspirations for the future of Gawad Kalinga, emphasizing the ongoing commitment to its mission. Furthermore, Wines Bansa, the Area Development Officer, shed light on the GK Pampanga Vision Alignment for the year. The festivities commenced with a local Catholic mass, setting a blessed and grateful tone to end the day.

After the mass, Carol treated the guests to a dinner, bringing together the GK team, Carol's relatives, and retreat participants. Cultural diversity was celebrated through song and dance performances, showcasing the rich traditions of the Philippines. This event showed the connection between GK USA and GK CDFI, emphasizing unity and a shared vision. Participants demonstrated that despite geographical distances, they stand united with one goal and mission.

Carol is delighted to share that her guests were able to pledge for two GK homes! Although her birthday season is over, let us continue to give Carol the gift of joy by donating any amount by clicking the donate button down below. Together let's make a difference and empower communities in need!

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