Like many people sitting here in the United States I’m exposed to the news of the world day in and day out. We see disasters and tragedies on a macro and micro level all the time. Most of it bounces off of the layer of callousness gained to protect ourselves from the emotional devastation we’d feel if our empathy was unchecked. It is when events touch you on a personal level that they creep under the barbed wire we’ve unrolled around our emotive centers and grab the ends of those neurons and twist.

What’s twisting me currently is tropical storm “Ondoy” which recently hit the Philippines with a vengeance. I know people in that country and specifically in Metro Manila and other storm affected areas where the devastation of the flooding is just starting to be dealt with. Currently there are still people waiting for help on rooftops. Newly rescued people are cold, hungry, and dehydrated while they wait to go home and see what ruins they will find. It seems there was woefully too little government response and as usual aid agencies like the Red Cross are doing their best to provide help and comfort.

It’s too easy to play the numbers game and say that there were too few deaths or too little devastation to make a disaster worth noting. “It’s not the Sichuan earthquake or the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004” some would think and dismiss things. Beyond viewing people as a cumulative grouping they are individuals and a small car accident can affect one as much as if a volcano erupts nearby. We can’t help every person nor financially support all relief programs in the world but contributing to recovery efforts in smaller disasters means that you will have a larger impact on helping people in need. Don’t forget those in distress because they are not getting the lion’s share of the news cycle.

For individuals here in the United States we can’t easily get clothing or food stuffs to the Philippines so it seems a monetary contribution is the most expedient method of providing disaster relief. I found two ways for us here to quickly contribute to The Philippine National Red Cross which is working hard to help out in this crisis:

This link takes you to their website and will allow you to contribute via credit card.

This link takes you to site that has a PayPal link for contributions. You’ll want to read the post before you choose this and judge for yourself if it’s trustworthy.

Update 9/26:

This link is for the GMA Kapuso Foundation which is currently collecting funds to help the victims. It’s a credit card donation system but takes U.S. dollars so does not require currency conversion.

This link is for a blog which is putting together a group donation via PayPal.

Update 9/28

This link is for the UNICEF page to donate to help the children who are victims of the disaster. This online form works with credit cards.

Update 9/29

Now that several days have passed I see many options popping up for people in the U.S. to donate to the relief efforts. If you google you’ll find some charity or organization to suit you preferences I’m sure. I’ve got one more link to post here and it probably will be my last one.

This link goes to the The Ayala Foundation which is a nonprofit development organization of the Ayala Group of Companies. This takes donations via credit card but in pesos so you’ll need to convert.

If you can’t help in this way I hope you spare a few seconds to think some good thoughts for all those who are rebuilding and trying to get their lives back to normal in the Philippines.

I’ve not mentioned in this post yet how I donated. The first day of the flooding I sent money to The Philippine National Red Cross. A day after that I did the same to UNICEF. As they say every little bit helps and I really hope that’s true.

  1. hazel
    September 28, 2009, 4:13 am

    Thank you Tom

  2. September 30, 2009, 6:24 am

    Thank you, TAO.

    The American Red Cross takes donations for Typhoon Ketsana (Ondoy) survivors in the Philippines. Donors can contact the Red Cross at 1-800-435-7669.

  3. September 30, 2009, 9:12 pm

    thank you very much, Tom. your kindness, as always, is overwhelming. thank you, thank you, thank you.