3 ways to help Typhoon Haiyan Victims

Typhoon Haiyan, the world’s strongest typhoon ever recorded, lashed the Philippines and has caused massive destruction and a large number of fatalities. It has wiped out towns, destroyed homes, infrastructures and roads leaving thousands homeless and wounded.
Survivors now face the aftermath of the typhoon’s wrath as they struggle to hold on for their own lives. They are desperate for food and water and shelter. And with no hospitals and medical professionals to turn to, injured and wounded survivors are threatened with reports of illness outbreaks lacking immediate medical assistance.
No man is an island. Local and international humanitarian groups and organizations are now in the move to provide the urgent needs of these survivors. Private companies, religious groups, universities and many others pledge to offer support. The response to this devastating event is indeed overwhelming as foreign aid, troops, and other kinds of assistance continue to pour in. No matter how where you are, every contribution – small or large, can make a big difference and help save lives. Here are some ways:
1. Donate – cash or goods.
Relief packs: A single family food pack generally contains 20kg of rice, 20 canned goods, 10 packs of noodles, large can of biscuits, and 10 liters of bottled water. Hygiene kits must have laundry soap, sanitary pads, underwear for men and women, bath soap, shampoo, toothpaste and toothbrushes. Donate clothes, shoes and slippers – old or new, which are usable and suitable for the Philippine climate. Tarpaulin sheets or tents will be of great help for temporary shelter. Other basic necessities include large blankets, mosquito nets and can openers.
Cash: Though in kind donations are greatly appreciated, your monetary aid will definitely go a long way in providing aid for the victims. Through this, organizations and rescue groups can buy relief goods in bulks. Cash is also a long-term investment especially for typhoon-hit towns where residents lack shelter. Financial aids can be used as livelihood programs in empowering humans. Support organizations by sending donations through their official bank accounts or websites. Online shopping portals have made a way to provide aid by donating a portion of their sales for typhoon relief. Other cash donations also come from various fundraising activities like concerts, garage sale, fun runs, etc. Donors are advised to use caution when giving financial aid in the aftermath of a natural calamity. Help provide relief aid through cash donations or in kind to the following:
ALAS Cargo and Mango Tours fundraising campaign: www.merycorps.org/people/alasmango/philippines
World Vision Philippines: www.worldvision.org.ph/content/super-typhoon-yolanda-relief-efforts
World Food Program: www.wfp.org/donate/typhoon-philippines
2. Go volunteer!
As worldwide donations and other relief aid pour in, organizations and other disaster response centers accept volunteers for repacking of relief goods, distribution and deployment. Apart from logistics, there is also a need to send out several organized medical teams to respond to the typhoons aftermath. Immediate medical assistance is needed far and wide therefore local organizations, hospitals and other groups are calling for medical support volunteers. Take action and be a part of the team at the following centers:
Department of Social Welfare Development: www.dswd.gov.ph
Gawad Kalinga: www.gk1world.com/typhoon-yolanda
Philippine Red Cross: www.redcross.org.ph/
3. Do not underestimate the power of communication, help raise awareness. Providing accurate and appropriate information through public awareness campaigns. Send out messages to everyone through the traditional media which includes television, radio, and news papers. The move to inform people have become successful with the fast paced technological advancements. And nowadays, the power of the web, particularly the social media, has proven to be the most useful approach for information dissemination. Help share resources related to the devastation brought about by Typhoon Haiyan. The recent news on Philippine telecommunication networks offering free services to victims and the launch of Google’s Google Person Finder are among the share-worthy updates that should reach millions of people. Share accurate information and make those efforts count through Facebook, Twitter and other online news portals.
Every kind of gesture can heal even the most wounded soul. The simplest act of giving, no matter how big or small, can make a difference. The gift of love is the kind that reaches out to people’s hands and hearts – it is the greatest good any man can make. Despite the differences, it is through times like this when unity and compassion prevails for we do not only live for ourselves.

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