In early November 2013, the devastating storm, named Typhoon Haiyan, utterly destroyed much of the Philippines and, to date, has accounted for over 5500 deaths. When photos and statistics of the storm’s wrath appeared on television, my thoughts were, “Oh god. That is a huge amount of destruction. And with the number of Filipinos in this country, I’m sure we know someone who knows someone affected by this.”
I am embarrassed to admit I didn’t give the event another thought. I don’t like to watch nor read the news, and I pushed the horror from my mind.
And sadly, it turns out my observation that we MUST know someone affected was correct.
I’ve known Michelle since 5th grade, where we were in the same class and had the same circle of friends. We were cheerleaders together in middle school, went to the same church, shared many a birthday party. I recall her then as hard-working, focused, funny, and fashionable (and I don’t think much has changed!) I attended a different high school from my childhood friends, and outside of our Sunday CCD classes, lost touch with many of them, including Michelle, once we all went off to college. (This was pre-cellphones and Facebook, people!) Ironically, it was through the power of Facebook that I heard of Michelle’s goal to raise funds to rebuild a small town called Carles, where her mother grew up. As I read the story of Michelle and her mother, Helen’s, history with this place, I felt the heartache and sadness that Typhoon Haiyan’s destruction has brought.
I invite you to read Michelle’s blog about this relief effort and read her family’s story about its connection to Carles.
Can You Help?
What I found most frustrating in Michelle’s recount of how the storm affected Carles is that relief efforts are slow to reach tiny towns, if they ever do at all. Michelle and Helen wish to raise $10,000 before the end of the year to build a house for those displaced from their homes in Carles. This is an individual, concentrated effort to help a small group of people among thousands. I like knowing exactly where my donation is going and who it is helping–it is more meaningful to me.
BUT THEY CAN’T DO THIS ALONE! I’m sharing Michelle and Helen’s story here and on my social media channels in an attempt to help them reach their goal. Even if you can’t donate monetarily, sharing this post will help spread the word! I already know two people from the community of Carles who are wonderful individuals; I can only assume this place is totally deserving of help and donation.
To read more, visit Rebuild Carles! or click the link below to donate.
Thank you so much for reading and considering a donation to this fund. At this time of year when requests for donations abound, your contribution is truly appreciated.