Praying for the Philippines
One of the largest typhoons, Typhoon Haiyan (or Yolanda), hit central Philippines last Friday, and Vietnam on Sunday, leaving thousands dead, and towns destroyed. The death toll is estimated to be about 10,000 people, but the numbers haven’t been confirmed. This storm has left many homeless and displaced. There are relief efforts taking place, but even these are limited as the destruction makes it difficult to get food, water, and medical attention to those who need it. Then, out of desperation, looting happens, as people break into stores and into the resources that relief organizations are giving. It is heart-breaking and devastating to see the pictures and videos of the destruction.
In the wake of such a devastating tragedy, I am saddened to see all the destruction, and feel helpless and disconnected as I’m far away from the country of my heritage. I grieve for my fellow kababayan (countrymen), and I pray for the victims of those who’ve been affected by the storm. While I’m thankful that my family lives in a different region than where the storm hit, it still is hard to see so much destruction to the motherland. In these moments, I feel like the only thing I can do is pray that the Lord would be with the victims, and pray that provision would come.
While there are relief efforts coming from the Philippine, U.S., and other governments, there are many organizations that are also providing help. Here is a list of organizations that you can donate to help with relief efforts:
- Samaritan’s Purse: A Samaritan’s Purse disaster response team is in the Philippines to help in the aftermath of one the strongest storms ever recorded.
- The United Nations World Food Programme: The WFP has set up an online donation page that will help rush food and resources to the regions affected.
- The Philippine Red Cross: Donations will help mobilize teams on the ground with rescue and relief efforts.
- UNICEF: Donations will help children gain access to medical supplies and clean drinking water. “Safe drinking water can be impossible to find after such a massive natural disaster. And without it, a child will drink whatever water she can find, no matter how dirty or diseased. That drink can quickly lead to diarrhea, disease and death,” UNICEF president Caryl M. Stern said.
- World Vision: World Vision is working to get food and resources to those in evacuation shelters.
- Catholic Relief Services: CRS is helping with the storm’s aftermath by getting supplies and staff into the area.
- Salvation Army: Donate online for the Salvation Army’s relief efforts, or text TYPHOON to 80888 to immediately donate $10.
- Save the Children: Donations will help children and families in the Philippines, Laos and Vietnam. Ten percent of every donation will go toward preparing for any future disasters in the area.
- Habitat for Humanity: Donations will help create shelter-repair kits for families rebuilding their homes.
- GlobalMedic: The Canadian organization is working to get clean water to victims.
- MercyCorps: Mercy Corps is deploying seasoned emergency responders and will be working with partners on the ground to meet the urgent humanitarian needs of survivors.