NAME: Willem Walter A. Geopano
WHAT DO YOU DO: I’m a full-time Culture/ Employee Engagement Coordinator, an entrepreneur and a freelance events planner. I co-founded Eco Wanderers Philippines, a travel and environmental group that aims to preserve the beauty of nature. I also organize our company outreach activities for the benefit of indigenous tribes and street children.
1. What are the values that you uphold as an individual, and how do you live them out?
The values that I uphold are optimism and kindness. I was living these values in some ways, with other people & in some situations.
“Optimism is a happiness magnet.”
I’m forever grateful for the unending grace of the Lord our God. I am really thankful for all the things that have happened in my life, whether good or bad. Living with a positive mindset gives me freedom and happiness to live my life to the fullest, to seek my purpose in life and to put a smile in the faces of others, reminding them that there are a lot of reasons to smile and to be happy. Optimism for me is a value that promotes self-care and solidifies our self-worth.
“You will never regret being kind.”
Kindness is spreading the spirit of giving by showing goodness to others through service and generosity. I learned this value from my mother, who has exuded this value herself since childhood. She has a big heart for the needy and has always been a good example, giving importance to the simple things that we do to touch the hearts of people and transform their lives. Being kind expanded my heart and mind to render service and showcase unconditional love to other people.
2. Tell us about Your Coffee Bean Story.
My Giving Journey #LivingGenerously
My Coffee Bean Story started in 2017, when I attended the launch of The Giving Journal in Greenbelt, Makati, where I also learned about the four Giving Icons (Caring Cup Global, Radiating Heart, Coffee Tree Cup, and Overflows) – graphic representations of how The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf gives back to the community. This event motivated me to work hard to finish my studies and pursue my dreams despite the hardships I encountered during that time. The stories of Real LIFE Foundation scholars were very close to my heart because I was also a working student during that time, balancing my work with my studies at De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde.
I am really thankful for The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf because they empower scholars through educational assistance. I am really amazed by their efforts in supporting communities in far-flung areas as well as the company’s environmental advocacies. I promised myself that I will support the initiatives of Caring Cup Community, and I was luckily given a slot for my first event organized by Waves for Water.
After I graduated this year, I started my journey as an active volunteer of The Caring Cup Community and it really helped me to become a better person, uplift the spirit of giving and #LiveGenerously.
These are the events that I attended last 2018:
-A Caring Cup Conversation with Waves for Water
-National Ocean Month Celebration
-Manage your Funds (Build Your Dreams)
-A Day with the Tea Master
-Home for the Aetas, Floridablanca Pampanga with Color Your Life Project
-Christmas Sustainability Fair
I’m really thankful for the Caring Cup Team because they are very welcoming, and they really value their volunteers. I’m really grateful to be part of the Caring Cup events because I get to meet new people who are also socially responsible and have a deep commitment to community service.
3. What event did you participate in that was the highlight of your #CoffeeBeanLife?
For me, there are two:
National Ocean Month Celebration
Joining this event enlightened me to break free from single-use plastic, straws, etc. The film viewing “A Plastic Ocean & WWF Talk on Marine Conservation encouraged me to start our battle against plastic pollution and help increase awareness within our group to reduce our plastic consumption and start using environmental friendly cutleries, straws, etc.
Home for the Aetas, Floridablanca Pampanga with Color Your Life Project
This was my first volunteering experience with Caring Cup, and it was extraordinary and remarkable. I really enjoyed spending my time with the Aeta children. I absolutely loved how we were able to put smiles in the faces of the children through the activities that we prepared for them! This event was really special for me because I was touched by the generosity and thoughtfulness of the two Aeta children (my buddies) all throughout the event. After our activity, they gave me sweet potatoes and they even recommended some dishes that are best paired with them.
4. What are the lessons you’ve gained as a member of the Caring Cup Community?
Being a member of the Caring Cup Community made me realize how blessed I am to be given the opportunity to serve other people and impact their lives. I learned that volunteering involves building human connections and being one with the community. I now understand the true meaning of “selflessness.”
5. Is there any advice you can give to the community when it comes to living a life of service and excellence?
Leave a legacy and be an inspiration. Living a life of service and excellence will not happen through just one day or event. Everyone should exemplify excellence by constantly volunteering and practicing kindness not only in Caring Cup events, but also in other communities.