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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Beyond Komiks: Other Things YOU Can Do for the Typhoon Yolanda Survivors

It's already about a week since Typhoon Yolanda devastated the Philippines and still, the news about the devastation and current situation of the survivors continue. There is an endless call for donations as the current stocks of basic necessities in the disaster-stricken areas rapidly deplete. Everywhere you hear people and institutions pledging part of their salary or their sales to the cause. But aside from donating cash or relief goods, there are also other ways on how you can help your fellowmen in this time of crisis:
  1. Volunteer - donating institutions need as much manpower as possible to help organize, pack, and distribute the relief goods to our fellowmen. Contact the nearest charitable institution and ask if they are still in need of volunteers. Volunteering deals a lot of physical hardwork, so this is not for those who have health issues like asthma.
    • PSST!!! There are schools and universities that also distribute relief goods during times of disasters. Catholic/Christian schools and/or universities usually do this as part of their Outreach program. Try to contact your alma mater and ask how you can donate or be a volunteer to the cause.
  2. Share Online - don't let those status notifications on your Facebook News Feed get buried under all the selfies and rant status posts. Share as much of those status posts on your Timeline as much as possible. The more people that the status post reach, the higher the chance that donations will come.
    • PSST!!! Make it more personal. Tag at least one friend to your status post. If you prioritize tagging your friends who like to volunteer or donate, it will help them find the charitable institution closest to them and give them an idea on how to extend help.
  3. Console the relatives - this is the best time for you to be with your family and friends, especially those who have relatives and friends living in the disaster-stricken areas. Most of them are probably feeling depression or shock from the recent events, even though they are not directly affected by the typhoon. And a lot of them are worried because of the lack of  communication from their kin. Do your best to console them. Help them find their lost relatives by going online and checking the lists posted by the various municipalities or using the Google Person Finder - Yolanda
    • PSST!!! If you've regained contact with your relatives in Tacloban and they are familiar with the Tacloban relatives of your friends and neighbors, ask about news from them and relay it to their kin. Their relatives might be close by but have no means of contacting their kin in Manila or other parts of the world.
  4. Create your own fund raising event - you don't need to be affiliated with Red Cross to start your own fund raising event. We've heard and read stories in the internet about kids raising funds for the Yolanda survivors by selling lemonade or putting part of their allowance in a dedicated coin bank. You too can create your own mini fund raising event. Set up a Garage Sale wherein the proceeds will go to the Yolanda survivors. Sell off your handcrafted merchandise. Or ask your neighbors for relief goods and volunteer to bring them to the charitable institution of your choice.
    • PSST!!! Try to have the fund raising event at the same time as a big fund raising event that is happening in a different venue. You will have somewhere to drop off the relief goods/donations at the end of the day, and it might not be as far as the charitable institution of your choice.
  5. Give Professional Help - if you're a professional in the medical field, please extend your help to the survivors of the typhoon. Having survived a super typhoon takes a lot of toll on the body. After experiencing a series of hunger, thirst, and cold, there are a lot of sick people there that needs attending. But aside from physical health, the mental health of those who are well needs attending too. The shock, panic, and depression caused by the loss of family, friends, shelter, livelihood, etc. has left the survivors traumatized. Right now, they are in great need of doctors, nurses, surgeons, and psychologists. You may ask your charitable institution how you can come along with the other volunteers who will be distributing the goods directly at the disaster area.
    • PSST!!! You don't have to be a doctor to give professional help! Did you know that komiks artists are pledging their Komikon profits from the sale of komiks, sketches, and merchandise, to the survivors of Typhoon Yolanda? To find out the artists who are participating in the fundraising event and how you, as a komiks fan, can help, visit http://www.jeralduy.com/search/label/Yolanda.
    • UPDATE!!! (11-17-13) Cargo planes from the Philippine Air Force are now helping transport the survivors from Tacloban to Manila at the Villamor Air Base. They are now in need of people to man the airport and make sure that the survivors are well fed and taken care of. For more information, please contact Jenn at 0917-8729848.
These are just a few of things that you can do to help the survivors. Act now. Help. Because every little thing that you can do can change the lives of the survivors of Typhoon Yolanda. 

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