The day after Yolanda, I went to attend the Heritage Conservation Summit, and learned a lot about Adaptive Reuse. [Oh, and this reminds me to send those intro emails for the conservation project we’ll be doing in Bulusan.]
On the 10th, I had a scheduled Chinese Cemetery tour with my good friend, Marco Puzon. And it’s our only common time to bond, so I had to do this or it’ll take a long time before we could ever schedule again. Just before meeting Marco and Meg (and later on Anna), I was checking FB, and found that they need volunteers for repacking in DSWD-NROP. I thought that would be a good way to end the day. Later did I realize that that decision to go, sparked off my network’s interest in volunteering.
In such short notice, I got to meet more of my #ProjectJomalig wave1 friends, Shammy, Zarina and Arvin, and they also brought friends along too! We were tasked to re-pack rice. And we were able to do so efficiently!
I wasn’t able to come back, as I had been busy the rest of the week.
I went home to Laguna for my mom’s birthday. But instead of celebrating, we were worried about our relatives in Carigara. Were waiting for any news about the town. Finally, we got an sms from a relative about the situation in my mom’s home town. They were affected too, but not as badly as our fellow kababayans in Tacloban, Palo and Guiuan. At least my Grandmother, Aunt and Uncle were safe.
It was around that day that I started sharing volunteer opportunities like crazy!
I was tapping my former colleagues and verticals to send people in the night shift to volunteer at the repacking stations because they need people during those times. And who else can better respond to graveyard weeknight shifts, other than BPO people who are on Rest Days?
I was able to get several responses to those FB messages, sms’, and a few calls. I feel I have accomplished a lot by just sending them the information that they could cascade to their team members or fellow office mates.
I am happy that there are people who ask how they can help, and perhaps leads on where to go. I am more happy to know that some those people I worked with, and the happy travelers I meet have big hearts willing to lend a hand.
No one could have ever prepared as much for the kind of devastation that Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) has caused. But the relief efforts made by the people on its aftermath have been tremendous. International aid has been outpouring. Private groups were formed to provide additional help to the communities affected. If only the efforts are all coordinated. [Oh, wait. I got another brilliant idea!]
I know for a fact that the DSWD people handling the repacking at NROP that Sunday (10th) put up for the long hours to coordinate relief repackaging. The DSWD lady in charge of Villamor last Friday (15th) was exhausted too, but she just wanted to get the evacuees home to their relatives. They were doing their best despite the chaos of a seemingly unorganized relief and evacuation effort by their department.
So much has been said and done, and still left undone days after the storm, but my faith to humanity is slowly being restored by the overwhelming response of the people during this time of crisis.
I too, am displeased when I hear negative issues about the relief efforts. But I want to help, and do something.
I’m not sure if you’ll be with me all throughout, but I’ll just continue to share some information around, hoping you would decide to do the same, and possibly volunteer too!