I just received an email from my eldest daughter, Bianca, and she gave me her views on the noble and compassionate work they are doing as volunteers at the Villamor Air Base Evacuation Center. She and her younger sister, Alyssa, had been there for 14 hours non-stop to help with the evacuees. And I feel proud of the fact that these children have developed a sense of empathy and service for their fellowmen.
Her letter talked about the need for more volunteers, and I immediately sounded a call for such. She has however clarified the needs there, hence the slight modification in the call I made. There appears to be enough volunteers, but it seems that what they need are volunteer-leaders who can 1) manage the other volunteers properly; 2) lift up their spirits and keep them focused; and 3) look at the current system and improve it as best they can. Just so there’s a better semblance of order. (Of late, the Evacuation Center in Villamor has started to downsize, with the evacuation operation soon to be terminated. But the need for volunteers remain, as the relief repacking centers continue producing relief goods to be airlifted to the stricken areas.)
She also mentioned the need for volunteers who must be prepared to take the most humble, most menial of jobs, such as in the Food and Clean-up Committee. They’d love to have volunteers with experience and specialization too. While more hands are appreciated, it would certainly be much better if they also have the heart to wait patiently for their turn to help the evacuees. The volume of volunteers has increased, so DSWD wants to accommodate all willing to help.
For those who may wish to bring some stuff along, the Food Marshall Crew needs a few basic supplies such as: garbage bags, boxes of thin latex gloves, plastic bristled brooms, and maybe some Cobra energy drink for the volunteers?
My wife also led a group of volunteers in DSWD Davao and she had some observations herself. They would have an influx of volunteers on weekends, and have an acute shortage on weekdays. So there, folks, if you want to give a bit of your time for our Yolanda victims, perhaps you can come on the weekdays.
I’d like to think that there is an abundance of goodness in each one of us, and I’m sure that there is so much benefit we can imbibe by simply volunteering a few hours of our time. I am therefore making this call for more volunteers. Whether you are in Manila, Cebu, Davao, or elsewhere, there are donation centers where you can lend a hand.
For parents, bring in your children. This is a good opportunity for bonding, and for teaching your kids the value of giving and helping those who have less in life. So with office managers. You can certainly help by looking at and improving the systems in place. This could also be a good way to learn more about your employees’ attitudes in regard to service and helping the company – and each other – attain a common goal. Also, this is a good exercise in instilling discipline, unity and most of all, national pride.
Enough of the divisiveness that has only served to make our burden even heavier. Enough of the politics. It is now time we rolled our sleeves collectively, as it is time to show what we really are made of. May the Bayanihan spirit that runs through our veins inspire us as we face the new challenges of today’s new world.
For more stories on Super-Typhoon Yolanda, pls visit:
- A Survivor’s Story: The Aftermath
- What was Super Typhoon Yolanda Really Like?
- What Can We Do To Help Our Yolanda Victims?
- Things Will Get Worse Before They Get Better
- Help is on the Way
- A Survivor’s Story
- Super Storm Haiyan Devastates Tacloban: An Omen of Things to Come
(Photos courtesy of Bicoltoday.com, GMA Network, Solar News, Philstar.com, ISIS Masscom, yahoo.com, inquirer.net, UN.org.)
Great appreciation to all of you who are taking the time and effort to help my kababayans. You may request the able bodied displaced citizens to help out in the cleaning effort and even in repacking and distribution of relief goods. After all, it’s all for them. I am sure they would be glad to help. When I stayed at a shelter for a few days during and after a hurricane, I took the initiative to help out in the cleaning effort and whatever errand they could give me. This will enable the volunteers and relief workers to spend more time in other tasks. It gave me a sense of purpose to be useful rather than just being a burden to them.
we are doing that, may, with those who are able-bodied and willing. it is heartwarming to see them work and try to get off the ‘victim’ complex early. for some though, the scars and the trauma remain. hence, the need for more understanding and patience.