Just a little more than a month has passed since Super Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda struck and devastated multiple areas of the Philippines. For some people, the storm has moved from the forefront of their thoughts. It is not constantly on news updates anymore. Despite the fact that this natural disaster is fading from the news cycle, there is still much work to be done. There are millions of people that are attempting to put their lives back together, after losing loved ones and often times all of their personal belongings.
ALIG continues to work hard in providing relief to the survivors of the typhoon in many different ways. Contributions continue to come in, and we are constantly reassessing needs and evaluating the best options for these valuable resources to do the most good, and go directly to the people who need it most.
The packing sessions for hygiene kits continue. To date we have packed and delivered 5000 family hygiene kits, and 1500 baby kits. We also packed hundreds of food kits, and sent bulk canned goods, water and rice. These have been sent to Tacloban and Cebu, distributed directly to evacuees arriving at Villamor Air Force Base, and some are soon on the way to Isabel and Ormoc, both in Leyte.
It’s important to note that ALIG’s other charity commitments continue, and all the monies for helping survivors of the typhoon are separate from those monies already raised (through calendar sales, garage sales, charity ball and private donors) and budgeted for (in the previous year). For Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda relief efforts, we have had over 1.4 million pesos donated. We are in communication with several other donors that are interested in helping. We have been able to spend about 1.2 million pesos in the purchase of relief kit items, bulk food and water donations (like rice), a generator for a town in Bohol, and purchase of medicines and goods for MANGGYAN mission trips to Carles, and Capiz, in Iloilo.
We are excited to share with you that we are now working with our ALIG member Jo Halley, and her husband, Dave, who works for PASAR (a copper smelting and refining business in Leyte), to provide additional relief to impacted typhoon survivors in the area of Isabel. Since PASAR has ready infrastructure in place, it makes it seamless and safe for us to send goods directly, and they can be distributed by trusted sources who make sure the donations go to those who need it. There are approximately 45,000 people in Isabel, many of whom lost belongings and have suffered damage ranging from damaged roofs to completely destroyed homes and barangays (neighborhoods). They have not been able to get back to work. Although PASARr is helping its direct employees and has also made generous donations to provide relief to the residents of the area, there is plenty of work that is needed there. While they are still in the early stages of recovery, we are sending hygiene kits and medicines for the community health clinic.
We also have another contact, Caroline Cliff, who is setting off to Ormoc, Leyte. She will bring a medical team and relief goods, in addition to rebuilding materials, (all supplied by ALIG) by truck to Ormoc. Caroline is also working through the assistance of PASAR and its charitable Foundation arm. We look forward to hearing updates and seeing all that her team can accomplish.
For the new year, we are looking at the possibility of long term projects, possibly in Isabel, since rebuilding efforts are likely to take a long time. We will need to do more research and finalize details before we can make an announcement.
We wanted to make mention of the efforts of so many ALIG members past and present, who have either donated, solicited donations, or raised money in other creative ways. A special thanks to those repatriated ALIG members who have organized fund raisers abroad to benefit the ALIG Relief Effort; Cora Lynch, Fran Mery and Eveline van Weerdhuizen. We are so grateful for the effort you have been willing to put forth. Of course we want to thank all of our volunteers, who get a workout packing relief kits, or contribute by combing through clothes at home for
donations, sending cars and drivers when needed (sometimes on short notice) or shopping for and donating relief goods on your own. Providing assistance to the survivors of this super typhoon has truly been a group effort. We are so proud to be able to take part in it and so happy that you all have been so supportive.