Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Today's update from the Philippines

Map of the Philippines with Cebu highlighted
Map of the Philippines with Cebu highlighted (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Executive summary:

Things are going well. If in Philippines, we'd love you to volunteer with us. If in the US, a donation goes a long ways to helping those in need."

Longer update:

 From Facebook (like the BonaResponds-Philippines page)

 * BonaResponds reaffirmed our intent of making this a long term program that is working long after the current disasters (earthquake and flood) have faded from the news. Totally expect this to be a permanent part of BonaResponds.

* Discussed their upcoming volunteer plans. From Shamae: we will be taking food to "Pilar Camotes this weekend [where] we will work on feeding in the evacuation centers and maybe start working with Gawad Kalinga."

* Are you in the Philippines? Want to volunteer, they have a ton of work to do and could really use some more volunteers. Leave us a message. 

* We have no plans on going from the USA. We have looked into it, but the cost of one plane ticket is about 12,000 meals. That tradeoff is not worth it in our opinion at the present.

* If you want to help and are in the US or elsewhere, we will gladly accept donations and make sure that 100% of what we get (credit card fees are still credit card fees) is used for the Philippines if you explain where you want the money to go.

* BIG NEWS: Rather than spending money on shipping, we have found a large hardware/home improvement store in Cebu where we will be buying gift cards to set up the tool "library". This is actually HUGE news. It cuts costs, reduces lead times, increases flexibility, and helps the local economy.

* Jen and Shamae's father (who has been drafted to help with the tool library) having been having computer and internet problems, but that is expected and hopefully getting better as Jen is back online today.

* Personal note: BonaResponds volunteers have never ceased to amaze me from the first trip. Bringing hard work, ingenuity, and a willingness to work with others to all jobs. BR-PH and especially Shamae and Jen are truly living up to this high standard. From identifying jobs, working in the field, and looking for ways to partner with other groups to help as many as possible, they are doing a great job!!

Salamat, Jim

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