The Philippines: How You Can Help
Since so many of the ships arriving in our ports are manned by Filipinos, our ship visitors have been consoling these seafarers who have heard tales of devastation from home, or worse yet, have not heard anything and do not know the fate of their loved ones.
The typhoon that cut a swath directly across the Philippines last Friday was more powerful than Hurricane Katrina, packing winds up to 200 mph. Over 2 million people may have lost their homes, and the death toll has been estimated as high as 10,000.
“If the world is out there, send help.” I heard this on the radio this morning. There are ways you can help immediately. Here is a list, not necessarily comprehensive from Time magazine:
The Philippine Red Cross is providing a tracking service for family members looking for missing people. The organization is accepting donations on its website (100 PHP = $2.30) and is looking for volunteers to help assemble relief packages at its headquarters in Manila.
The American Red Cross has also activated a family-tracking service for those looking for a missing family member in the Philippines. Donors can send a check to their local chapter, indicating “Philippines Typhoons and Floods” in the memo line.
The World Food Programme is mobilizing 40 metric tons of high-energy biscuits and additional relief supplies, but it is also accepting donations online or by calling 1-202-747-0722 or +39-06-65131 from outside the U.S.
CARE is accepting donations on its website and has deployed workers to the Philippines to assist with emergency relief. You can donate by phone at 1-800-521-2273 or +1-404-681-2252 for international calls.
Oxfam has emergency responders on the ground to assist with relief support. The organization is asking for contributions to its Typhoon Haiyan Relief and Recovery Fund online.
International Medical Corps is also on the ground to help assess damage and is accepting donations on its emergency-response page for Haiyan relief.
ChildFund International is distributing clean water, food, blankets and other emergency aid items. Staff members are also setting up child-centered spaces in evacuation centers to offer counseling and relief for children and their families. Donate online.
Finally, before you donate either your time or money, please be aware that there are always scammers looking to profit on disasters. If you find an organization you are thinking of giving money to, check their credentials at the Charity Navigator, which evaluates the financial health and efficiency of more than 5,500 organizations.
Those of us at Seafarer’s Friend, ask you to do what you can, and keep the Filipino people in your thoughts and prayers.