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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

My Thoughts are with the Philippines

On November 8th, Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines. Weeks later, the people of the Philippines are still in dire need of basic necessities such as clean water, food, and shelter.  

Not long ago, I lived in the Philippines to work as a Training Manager in Manila. While there, I rediscovered my roots and come to love what it means to be Filipino.  You see, I think the true meaning of giving upon yourself may have originated on the Philippine Islands. 

 I remember the first day I arrived in Manila.  I thought I had packed everything in my suitcase - NOT! As fate would have it, I forgot my toothbrush back home in the United States. When my "tita" learned what happened, she immediately offered her toothbrush for me to use! I told her it was ok but she insisted so I asked what she would be using.  She told me she can always share with her daughter.  Keep in mind, the Philippines is a poor country yet the gesture she gave me said enough.  

Since my stay in the country, I've received many more gestures like my aunt did from many others.  So to hear and see what happened as a result of the typhoon touched my heart tremendously.  Although I maybe 1000's of miles away,the urge to help is there. The Philippines may not recognize Thanksgiving as a holiday but we as Americans could definitely show them how throughout the holiday season by helping them out. Several organizations are currently helping with the relief efforts. We can help out the Philippines by donating to the organizations who are helping:

• UNICEF staff in the Philippines is being repositioned to provide emergency aid and the organization is gearing up to deliver supplies to children and their families. Donations can be made online or by texting RELIEF to 864233 to donate $10.
• CARE teams are on the ground in the Philippines and the organization plans to provide emergency relief to thousands of families. Donations can be made online or by calling 1-800-521-CARE within the U.S. or +1-404-681-2552.
• World Vision is mobilizing nearly 500 staff around the country to respond to the disaster. Donations are accepted online and the organization also lets you sponsor a child in the Philippines.
• The American Red Cross has volunteers spread throughout the region and accepts donations online. You can also mail a check to your local American Red Cross chapter designating Philippines Typhoons and Flood in the memo line.
• The U.N. World Food Programme is urging Americans to make donations to support its emergency food relief after Typhoon Haiyan. You can donate online or by texting the word AID to 27722 to donate $10.
• Save the Children is mounting disaster relief efforts to help children and families in the area. Donations can be made online or by texting DONATE to 20222.
• AmeriCares is deploying medical aid and a relief team to Philippines, and says an emergency shipment with enough medical aid for 20,000 survivors is already on its way.
• The Philippine Red Cross has deployed staff and volunteers across the region. You can easily make a donation through organization's website.
• Doctors Without Borders has had emergency teams in Cebu since Nov. 9.
• To donate to the Salvation Army's Typhoon Haiyan relief efforts, visit its website or text TYPHOON to 80888 to donate $10 and reply YES to confirm your donation. The organization uses 100% of all disaster donations in support of disaster relief.
• The International Rescue Committee (IRC) has sent an emergency response team to assist with safe water, hygiene and sanitation needs, with additional aid to follow. Donations can be made online or by calling +1 855 9RESCUE.
• The International Medical Corps is on the ground coordinating with their partners in the Philippines to distribute and provide medical aid. Donations can be made onlineor by calling1-800-481-4462.
• Mercy Corps responders are working with local partners to provide food, water and shelter. Donations can be made online.
• Handicap International supports people with disabilities and vulnerable populations in situations of poverty, conflict and disaster. The group has been working in the Philippines since 1985 and is preparing emergency aid for the hard-hit city of Tacloban. Donations can be made online.
• The United Methodist Committee on Relief is providing funds for the purchase of emergency food, water and and water purification tablets in Tacloban. Donations can be made online or by calling 1-888-252-6174
• Catholic Relief Services says its assessment teams have reached the hard-hit island of Leyte by boat. The organization will prioritize emergency shelter, water and sanitation, household relief items potable water and toilets. Donations can be madeonline or by calling 1-877-435-7277.
• Looking for someone in the Philippines area that is in your family or a friend? Google has launched a person finder for the storm, also known as Yolanda in the Philippines, where you can try and find out someone's whereabouts or enter your own information.

Show the people of the Philippines how much we care. Salamat sa yong lahat! 

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