I spent a good bit of our trip this weekend trying to find my father & brother, who moved to the Philippines in the last few years. Many of you have heard of the devastation that occurred on Saturday, when Hurricane Ketsana poured more than a month’s worth of rain in a span of 12 hours. Nearly 400,000 people were affected by the storm. Homes were completely destroyed, and many lost all of their belongings. My family, & their families are fine.
The thing that most amazed me when I went to Manila (at age 17) was the contrast between the epic & glamorous, 2-mile-long Mega Malls & the neighboring "shanty towns." These were whole neighborhoods made up completely of cardboard, metal, & fabric. The people inside always looked happy, & they looked fun to live in. The malls, so unconnected to their location, always made me feel a bit ill. While there's official victim-counts, they couldn't possibly know. Those handmade communities are now mostly gone, washed completely away.
In these situations I worry most about the children involved, those who are gone, & those who are left behind. Who will protect them? I wish I belonged to an army of giant angel-clouds, sweeping over the Earth, scooping up little children & dropping them off in verdant valleys with climbing trees, clean rivers & triumphant vegetable gardens. Their teachers would be none, but a large community of committed painters, farmers, musicians, instrument makers, singers, craftspeople, weavers, chefs & okay, grandparents.
My sister-in-love's sister was caught in the flooding & was life-flighted home. She's dealing now with post-traumatic stress. My brother's home is suddenly filled with whole families in need of shelter, food & all the basics. That would be:
Clothing, bath soaps, face towels, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, plastic mats, blankets, mosquito nets, jerry cans, water containers, water purification tablets, plastic sheetings, and laundry soap
I'll be sending everything I can. You can send these things to this restaurant before October 4th, when they are holding a benefit. Handmade items? All the better!
20500 Hesperian Blvd (at A Street)
*Check donations should be made payable to: The Philippine National Red Cross.
You can also make cash or credit card donations directly to: http://www.redcross.org.ph/Site/PNRC/wtd.aspx
Thank you! (And Thanks, Kitty for helping to organize this!)