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Advocacy: Making a difference
Charitable institution: Elsie Gaches (Alabang Zapote Road, Alabang Muntinlupa City; Tel. No. 807-6023); Touch-A-Heart Foundation; Ploning Foundation (email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Social contribution: Judy Ann "Judai" Santos definitely knows how to touch the hearts of the Filipino masses—and helping them is one of her many ways. During her early days in showbiz, Judai began supporting the cause of Elsie Gaches, a village in Muntinlupa City that provides aid and comfort to mentally challenged people.
Her helping hand also extends to the indigenious people. In 2004, she initiated the Touch-A Heart Foundation, which aims to address the educational and agricultural needs of a community of Aetas in Bataan, as well as to provide medical supplies for a hospital in Cuyo Island, Palawan.
When it comes to giving a hand to her colleagues in the business, Judy Ann remains to be a solid provider. Together with director Dante Nico Garcia, they launched the Ploning Foundation on February 2009 to inspire filmmakers to make quality projects intended for a global audience. It was also reported that Judy Ann plans to work on a housing project to help revive the careers of veteran actors, small-time comedians and action film sidekicks.
Gravity of involvement: Judy Ann holds her charities close to her heart. She said: "Nagsimula kami sa mga special children sa Elsie Gaches. Nagbigay kami ng mga pagkain, gamot at ilang mga regalo para matuwa naman sila sa pagpunta namin. 'Tapos sumunod ang mga bata sa Tondo area hanggang sa mag-reach out na kami sa Aeta community in Zambales." Bringing her advocacy to the small screen, in 2001, Judy Ann played an Aeta in ABS-CBN's Maalala Mo Kaya episode, titled "Basket," to further raise awareness about the plight of the Aeta groups in the country.
Words of wisdom: "Special sila [Aeta community] sa akin mainly because nakatrabaho ko na rin ang ilan sa kanila So sila ang naramdaman ko na kapag binigyan mo sila ng tulong, ma-a-appreciate nila nang husto. As in, makikita ko sa mga mukha nila na masayang-masaya sila dahil naaalala mo sila. Kaya kami sa Touch-A-Heart, we try our best na buwan-buwan ay mapadalhan namin sila ng tulong. Kahit na manggaling pa ito sa sarili kong bulsa."