Recently, major flooding rains caused a multitude of destruction in the Philippines last week. Every year, seasonal monsoons cause a certain degree of flooding, but this year was far from ordinary. The monsoons were especially strong and a land-falling tropical cyclone only added to the destruction. In one day, in the capital of Manila, 20 inches of rain were recorded. There were dozens of fatalities and the saddest part was the majority of the victims were children. Nothing can surmount the pain of losing a child for many of these Filipino parents. Rivers quickly rose and washed away homes in a matter of hours. It is estimated almost 2 million people in the Philippines have been affected by the flooding and now that the clean-up has begun, the true devastation is only now being realized by all of these citizens returning to their homes. People were displaced during the flooding and now have nowhere to return to because so many houses were either washed away or are now completely unlivable. Evacuations were the difficult part, but now the clean-up will be even harder without your help.
First, money is always helpful in these situation and monetary donations can get to the victims through the Philippine Red Cross. They are providing essential items to the people of the hardest hit areas. But, it would be even more beneficial to these victims for you to donate your own customized pack of crucial items. The Philippine Red Cross has instructions on their website of how to construct a pack with blankets, pillows, ready-to-eat meals, water, etc. These packs will be handed out by the organization and will make their job easier. The Philippine Red Cross will no longer need to purchase these items and instead focus on distribution of the items. It is simple to spend $10, $20, or more buying items, pack them up and ship them to people who desperately need them.
Another great way to help the flood victims is to organize a large group of volunteers and raise awareness of the predicament in the Philippines. Your group can make packs of essentials or raise general money—any donations to these people will be appreciated! In Vancouver, BC, a large Filipino community gathered a massive following and ended up donating thousands of dollars and multiple packs. If you can form a group like this, and gain solid support, you should be able to help make a dent in the void left by these horrible floods. Sometimes, we help out on disasters that occur in our own country immediately, but are more hesitant to help a foreign country. Let us break that barrier and instead show that globally, we will help anyone in need. A flood can take your home, money, and even your relatives in a short time, but it cannot take away the kindness of others.