Meet Pinay good samaritan in Canada
EDMONTON – A Pinay's willingness to lend a hand has made many kababayans grateful for her presence in the city.
"Hindi ako dapat maging cum laude para makatulong. Hindi ako dapat maging presidente ng isang organization, hindi dapat akong maging madre para makatulong. Ako'y ordinaryong tao," said Lyla Gray.
Gray is an ordinary citizen who has become an institution in the Filipino community in Edmonton and beyond.
When there are newcomers looking for a place to stay or workers who lost their jobs or got critically ill, "Ate Lyla" is there to help.
She regards strangers like her own family.
"They came here pero nawalan sila ng trabaho lately tapos nakita yata sila ni Ate Lyla sa mall and then sabi niya pwede kayong tumuloy sa bahay. Wala na silang pambayad sa mga apartment nila na tinitirahan. Ayun, tumira sila dito ng more than a year," said Gray's neighbor, Margie Fernandez.
Gray's one bedroom apartment has accommodated many over the years. They stayed there for free until they got settled or found new jobs.
Gray is not wealthy. But with the help of friends in the Filipino community, she's able to raise funds for those in need.
Suzette Conje was struggling to survive as a single mom when she met Gray.
"All throughout my pregnancy talagang tinulungan niya ako maski sa diaper, sa baby bottle, sa formula," she said.
She's more than thankful for having "Ate Lyla" in her life.
"Napakabait niya. Sa totoo lang hindi ko maa-achive lahat ng na-achieve ko ngayon kung di dahil sa kanya," she added.
Gray is living proof that wealth is not measured by what you own, but by what you give.
"Kung mas mayaman ako mauubos talaga ang pera ko sa katutulong sa mahirap," Gray said.