During the summer of 2011, I spent three magical months in a southeast Asian island nation that has recently made its way into newspaper headlines and radio interviews. The Philippines was the place I learned to scuba dive, eat fertilized duck eggs, and formed friendships that have continued long after my return flight home. It is a country of beauty and unyielding hope for a better tomorrow.
I want to thank all my friends and family who reached out to me after hearing about the mass devastation due to Typhoon Yolanda. All of my close friends and host families are safe, protected in other parts of the 7,000+ island country. And while the death toll is less than previously estimated, thousands of people are without homes, food, water or clean clothes. My friend Vivienne recounted a story she heard from a friend living amidst the chaos and struggle for survival:
“It looked like a re-enactment of a zombie apocalypse. People there started destroying homes, banks, groceries. It’s crazy. One of my friend told me that her friend who lives there sleep with guns already.”
There are a number of organizations currently receiving donations. Due to poor infrastructure and limited transportation, cash donations are preferred for those living outside of the Philippines.
- Give A Little- http://www.givealittle.co.nz/org/shelterbox
- World Vision- https://www.worldvision.org.ph/content/super-typhoon-yolanda-relief-efforts
- UNICEF- http://donate.unicef.ph/campaign/24/typhoon-yolanda-emergency-appeal
- Philippines Red Cross- http://www.redcross.org.ph/donate
I will continue to update the post with more organizations accepting aid. My friends in the Philippines are working directly on the ground and I will try to find additional ways to contribute to the cause. Search hashtags on Twitter (#TyphoonHaiyan #yolandaPH #reliefPH #BangonCebu #BangonVisayas #PhilippinesTyphoon) and like these Facebook pages:
- Help Malapascua – Stay up to date with the region’s relief efforts.
- Bundles of Joy – Write a letter to show your support.
- Adopt a Town for Christmas – Find a list of reputable organizations with people on the ground. Contact information and donation pages are available.
Before and After Pictures (Time Magazine)
“So open your heart
Give what you can
We’re all responsible
For our fellow man.”
Excerpt from A Helping Hand by Ray Hansell