My parents immigrated to the United States from the Philippines nearly 50 years ago, but they still have many friends and relatives in their home country. I myself briefly studied abroad in the Philippines.
Our personal ties to the Philippines make it doubly hard to process the absolute devastation that Typhoon Haiyan has caused.
My Facebook and Twitter feeds are flooded with official news accounts of the death and destruction, as well as personal stories from friends’ loved ones who have been affected. One woman recounted how she waited 5 hours in line for water. And I keep thinking about an interview with a Philippine disaster relief worker who said they ran out of body bags because there were so many dead.
I read that the city of Tacloban, which is in one of the areas hardest hit by the typhoon, is near the Red Beach on Leyte Island where U.S. Gen. Douglas MacArthur waded ashore in 1944 during World War II and fulfilled his famous pledge: “I shall return.”
As many as 10,000 are believed to be dead in that city.
UNICEF estimates that 1.7 million children are living in areas impacted by the typhoon.
The best way to immediately help any disaster relief is by making a monetary donation. Below is a list of nonprofits that you can give money through to provide emergency shelter, food, and other aid.
In addition, I would encourage you to spend your money at Filipino-owned businesses and restaurants. It’s likely that they will be sending money back to the Philippines as well.
The Philippines needs your prayers, and they need your action too.