As we head into the Holiday Season, we are inundated with advertising to buy – mainly materials goods – and often things we don’t need (or sometimes even want), just to fullfill the Commercial push of the Holiday Season, when really the important thing is spending time with or thinking about the people we love. With this it is also important to remember those less fortunate than ourselves, who are in need. As a result, as we head into the holiday, we are going to share a weekly column on Giving the Gift of Aid … shining a spotlight on situations and people that have impacted us this past year, and could use some help.
It is all too common to be shocked, devastated and deeply saddened by tragic events that happen in the world, only to eventually move on with our days if they do not directly affect us. Survivors of these events are left with a lengthy recovery and rebuilding of their lives while many of us return to fun and quirky status updates. Let’s take for example, the most recent natural disaster in the Philippines. Hundreds of thousands of people are left without homes and all of their belongings, without a means to work, and even cook a simple meal. There is an entire village of widows as the men sent the women and children to higher ground while they stayed to try and strengthen and protect their homes, only for all of them to perish in the process.
At times like this, we often don’t know how to help, or if the help we provide will go to the right place. Thanks to world wide organizations it has become possible to participate in aid with even a very small donation. In the specific instance of the Philippines, we have been relayed some grass roots groups that a personal connection at Travel Underwriters, who is from the Philippines vouches for.
The devastation that hit is known to be the most powerful typhoon in recorded history. Medical supplies, food and water are scarce. The organization, Bundles of Joy, is striving to get some of the most basic needs met, along with a boost to the human spirit. For only $10 you can send a bundle that contains:
- 1 eco friendly bag
- 5 canned goods
- 1 pack crackers (7 oz)
- 4 1L water
- 3 packs of vitamin C
- 2 candles
- 2 matches
- 1 set of clothing
- YOUR Letters of hope
The organizaiton, Adopt A Town For Christmas, lists a variety of ways you can jump in and help depending on what speaks to you. The Adopt A Fisherman Program for example, provides help to those who have lost their boats and means to raise a livelihood in order to send their children to school and survive.
Operation Walang Iwanan provides updated reports on ways to Volunteer if you live anywhere near the regions, or are able to get yourself out there to participate on the front lines. They also have a donation program. They take particular interest in the small isles and remote areas where media are not able to access and thus bring attention to their despair.
The Canadian government is running a matching donation campaign where they will match dollar for dollar donations made by individual Canadians to approved charities. They have also sent out relief teams with supplies and are prioritizing immigration applications for those hardest hit. The Red Cross has also been on high alert since the Typhoon was sited and continue to meet the needs those affected by the storm.
Please consider taking even the smallest action that may contribute to a large heroic impact combined with others in the world.