I have been working on a daily basis with The School in a Cart in Cubao, the Philippines through my charity Lift the Lid since 2011, and many thanks to generous donors, started The Push Cart Children's Band in 2014. The children have enjoyed many holiday and school celebrations, but when they write about their best days, they describe the hard work they’ve put into the band, such as their fear of learning new instruments, the times they've failed to get the notes right, the countless hours they’ve spent practicing, and their insecurities performing in front of crowds.
We can provide and encourage and reward the children of The School in a Cart with happy days, but it is up to them to do the hard work, to overcome their fears and insecurities, and to step out on that stage or show up for the exam.
These are their happiest days . . .

Abet with his drum buddy and mentor Stephano.

Buy a book and help a child! Consider buying author Connie Mann's third book in her Safe Harbor suspense series, Deadly Melody between May 22nd - 29th. All author royalties will go to The Push Cart Children's Band at The School in a Cart in Cubao, the Philippines. Thank you, Connie!
Below is a Thank You note written by 12-year-old Abet. He is one of five siblings, all boys, and his younger brothers are also participants at The School in a Cart, while his eldest brother and their mother act as volunteers. Unfortunately, being accustomed to living on the streets, they still believe collecting garbage to be the only way of providing for themselves. Following the English translation, you will find Abet's original essay in Tagalog:
"I am glad I was given an opportunity to join the coming Battle of the Bands. Initially, I found it difficult to play the drums because my hands and my feet were not yet used to it. But I set aside more hours after our group rehearsal and practice by myself so I would get used to it.
I thought I would no longer be a part of the All Younger Boys Band because I did not come during days of practice. But I was given another chance to join. I would no longer take this opportunity for granted. I would rehearse and rehearse and hope one day I would become a good drummer.
I thank God for giving me this talent. I am also thanking our sponsors who do not get tired of helping us. Thank you also to Sir. Iddo (Alfredo) and Teacher Nonie who are with us every day guiding and helping us."