We have no words—the devastation wrought by Typhoon Yolanda is almost impossible to comprehend. (Here’s just one heartbreaking report from Rappler.) But it is encouraging to see relief efforts and initiatives all around the Web, in true bayanihan fashion (look for the hashtag #ReliefPH). The call to action: volunteer, donate, pack goods, spread the word to friends abroad—we can all do something to help, and no effort or contribution is too small. You’ve most likely seen some of these already, but just in case you haven’t, here are a few ideas on how you can help now, and in the weeks to come:
ADOPT-A-TOWN FOR CHRISTMAS
We spoke with the people behind Adopt-a-Town for Christmas, and they hope to encourage people to spread the Christmas spirit to towns devastated by Typhoon Yolanda. Also, they are matchmakers: if you don’t know where to channel your funds, Adopt-a-Town For Christmas can link you up with a town or community that desperately needs your help. Simply send them a message on Facebook!
From their Facebook page:
“Adopt-a-Town for Christmas is a movement to encourage individuals, groups, and corporations to channel some or all of their Christmas funds into a project or event that will bring joy to the towns in the most devastated parts of Visayas.
Bring Christmas into the hearts of those who will need it most by providing hot meals, funding or shelter, or other basic needs this holiday season.
If your company or school organization, family, or group of friends decides to forgo your Christmas party this year and instead help out by “adopting” a town or barangay, we’d love to hear all about it on our Facebook page. Please post or write us how your group can provide efforts to bring Christmas to Leyte, Samar, Bohol, Cebu, Iloilo, Capiz, or wherever your heart moves you to give.
We hope you will join our movement! Please like our page and come visit regularly to read about how people and companies have given up Christmas party plans or funds to find ways and means to bring Christmas to our brothers and sisters in the Visayas.”
For more information, visit AdoptATownForChristmas on Facebook.
Donate and do your Christmas shopping at the same time! Here’s an idea from home store La Pomme:
Click here for more info: http://echodesign.ca/lapomme/?p=1523
There’s bound to be relief operations in your parish, neighborhood, or office, or you may also volunteer at the NROC.
FYI: A DSWD standard food pack contains 3 kilos of rice, 2 cans of corned beef, 4 cans of sardines, 6 packs noodles and 6 sachets of 3-in-1 coffee. Good for 3 days for a family of 5.
DONATIONS ACCEPTED HERE
There are loads of places to send your donations (just verify first if the relief operations are legit!), but you might also want to consider donating here:
(Courtesy of Regina Abuyuan of Center for Blended Learning at Kids Ahoy)
See more ideas on how to help on Yahoo Philippines.
PERSONAL INTIATIVE: VITAMEAL RELIEF MISSION
My friend Trina and her family are donating and accepting donations for VITAMEAL, a nutritious food alternative (one bag costing only P1,150 can already feed 30). If you would like to send some donations their way, do contact her sister Missy at 0917 5004263 (or message thehappylab on FB for their bank account details). Donations will be taken directly to Tacloban.
Here’s Trina’s message: “Friends and family, let us be of help to all those who were not spared by Typhoon Yolanda. Though I know it may be difficult to take time off from our busy schedules, we can still help in other ways. Our family is committed to donating and accepting donations of VITAMEAL to our brothers and sisters in need. It is a porridge packed with vitamins and minerals and is much more nutritious and healthy compared to canned goods, noodles, and crackers. 1 bag of VITAMEAL (P1,150) can feed 30 People already. Please let me know if you and/or your friends/families would like to help by pledging a bag/s. Thank you! Please contact my sister Missy Santos on FB or text/call her at 09175004263. My sister’s PAYPAL account is: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please text us at +639175004263 or email email@example.com after depositing and how many bags you wish to donate.” P.S. News from Nourish the Children foundation and NSE: For every 50 BAGS of VITAMEAL donated, they will give 10 BAGS for the victims of Typhoon Yolanda for FREE!
Update (Nov. 14) from Trina: “Update on our family’s VITAMEAL *relief mission*: Nourish the Children deploys vitameal donations DAILY to Tacloban, Ormoc, Samar, IloIlo, and North Cebu. They also have EMERGENCY SHELTERS with HOT WATER and volunteers from Feed the Children Philippines who know how to prepare the vitameal for the victims. South East Asian Airlines (SEAIR) has already started MULTI-DAY and MULTI-FLIGHT operations of deploying goods to hard to reach areas such as Coron, Calbayog, Catbalogan, Guiuan, and Catarman with their “island hopper” planes (328 turboprop aircrafts).”
If your heart especially goes out to hungry children (5 and below), pregnant and lactating mothers, and the elderly, the Negrense Volunteers for Change’s disaster relief efforts prioritize these vulnerable groups. From their Facebook page:
“A Mingo instant nutritious meal made of Moringa (malunggay), Rice and Mongo is a most convenient food pack in an evacuation center. Needs no cooking, and can be prepared with water at room temperature. Yet it gives one a serving of rice with protein from mongo with malunggay. The cost of one pack is P4.00, or less than US$0.10. “If you can’t feed all the hungry, then feed just one.” Mother Teresa. You may wish to feed even just one. Check out more about Mingo in our website www.nvcfoundation-ph.org.”
More from their FB page: “We are getting inquiries on how to donate Mingo for disaster relief operations from abroad. Please (1) log in to our websitewww.nvcfoundation-ph.org and (2) look for the donate button on the upper right corner and express your donation through paypal/ credit card. Kindly advise us when you do so we can monitor. Thank you.”
For more information on how to donate MINGO meals to Yolanda-hit provinces, visit Negrense Volunteers for Change on Facebook.
For our kababayans and dear friends abroad, LBC is accepting donations at any of their branches worldwide till November 30, and will be forwarding these free of charge to Red Cross Philippines. For inquiries, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Here is the list of items badly needed (sorry, clothes are not accepted by The Philippine Red Cross as of the moment).
MORE CONTACT INFO IF YOU LIVE OUTSIDE THE PHILIPPINES
More info on how you can help via the Huffington Post.
And after donating food, medicine, your time, and other vital supplies, consider this thoughtful idea from Ricefield Collective to bring joy to young typhoon victims. Talk to your kids about parting with a toy to make a difference!
“This is Lambear. He has been my steadfast companion for many years and a great source of comfort in tough times. Together with the longstanding Philippine organization 1,000 Bear Hugs, we’re organizing a stuffed toy drive so that some of the many thousand children displaced by super typhoon Hayian can have a bit more comfort too.
Large relief organizations such as the Red Cross do an amazing job taking care of basic relief supplies, so we thought we’d contribute by helping with the emotional health of children. While it’s vital to take care of everyone’s physical well-being, it is the emotional effect of a crisis that can affect a child’s life for years to come. Having a toy to hold can make a huge difference in allowing children to get themselves through.
If you can spare gently used stuffed toys 30″ or smaller (please don’t buy new ones; donate the money to a relief organization instead), please prepare them this weekend and send them to Ricefield Collective, 1,000 Bear Hugs Project, 421 North Aurora Street, Ithaca, NY 14850. We’ll make sure they get to children who’ve been affected by Supertyphoon Haiyan.”
— Meredith Ramirez, Director, Ricefield Collective
For more information, visit Ricefield Collective on Facebook.
Some local drop-off points include: University of the Philippines (FLCD Circle Tambayan, College of Home Economics), Ateneo de Manila High School Department (Father Jboy Gonzales, SJ office), DLSU-Dasma (LCDC Office, 2/F SCBC Bldg), Asian Institute of Management (AIM Dormitory c/o Joy Lapuz), Geiser Maclang (108 Tordesillas St. Salcedo Village, Makati c/o Sara Alvarez), Conquer Outdoors (2/F Robinsons Pioneer), HABAGAT Store (SM Cebu). More local drop-off points to follow. Please keep checking back!