Team Phoenix Pays it Forward

Post by
Haley Piper

Team Phoenix is the latest of many base shops that have recently emerged here at PFA. This Hawaii-based team is led by Ruth and Dyron Castulo, and they attest to a motto worthy of praise: "Rise up, reach back, and pull someone up".

Ruth and Dyron recently held a "CFT Appreciation Day" to honor and celebrate the ten latest Certified Field Trainers of Team Phoenix. Each of them was given a Thanksgiving meal voucher to enjoy a stress-free, cooking-free holiday, but the CFTs had other plans. In keeping with their team's motto, all ten CFTs used their vouchers in some way to benefit someone else - they paid forward the kindness shown by their leaders, Ruth and Dyron. Here are some of their stories:

Nina Dafun

Nina’s brother-in-law lost his job due to COVID-19, and so her sister now works two jobs in order to cover their bills. “Even on Thanksgiving Day, my sister has to work,” Nina told us. So she decided to give her Thanksgiving meal voucher to her sister and brother-in-law so they can enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner together without any worry or stress. This left Nina and her husband without any way to prepare a meal for themselves, but Nina’s older cousin took action. 

MaryJane Mina

MaryJane decided to use her voucher to help out her cousin Nina. “I chose Nina’s family because we value the same thing - family time,” she explains. After Nina gave her Thanksgiving voucher away to her sister and brother-in-law, MaryJane decided to surprise Nina by sharing her own voucher with Nina and her husband so that they could spend Thanksgiving together. MaryJane and her husband Ruel spent many years in the military, and thus missed many family holiday gatherings. This year, she wanted to make up for it by making sure she, her husband, and her two favorite cousins could spend it together without the stress and hassle of cooking. 

Carmelita Labtingao

Carmelita says she was inspired to “pay it forward” because of God’s countless blessings upon her and her family. Even while Carmelita’s husband is furloughed due to the pandemic, they are still financially healthy because of PFA. Unfortunately, some of Carmelita’s friends and family are not so lucky. “Many of my close friends and family members cannot afford to buy groceries, and others cannot be with their families this holiday, so I used my gifted voucher to feed them instead so that they would not have the burden of trying to figure out food on Thanksgiving,” explains Carmelita. 

Jenelyn Peralta Okumoto

Jenelyn decided to give her Thanksgiving meal voucher to a family she has known for over a year through her volunteer work as a wish granter for the Make a Wish Foundation. “Aileen and Rey Jordan have three young sons: Jericho, Justin and Caelan. Unfortunately, Jericho was diagnosed with leukemia in 2019 and has been undergoing treatments ever since,” Jenelyn explained. Aileen works as a nurse and Rey works in the kitchen at a restaurant called Sushi Bay. Due to the pandemic, Rey’s hours have been cut so Aileen has been working extra hours. Also because of COVID-19, Jericho’s “wish” from the Make a Wish Foundation has been postponed. “I just wanted to allow them to spend valuable time with their children and make great Thanksgiving memories. I love this family,” Jenelyn concluded. 

What an amazing way to spend Thanksgiving. Way to go, Team Phoenix!