I received the following email from a friend and former parishioner who is of Philippine descent. He offers a way that we can directly help some of the victims of the Typhoon Haiyan which devastated parts of the Philippines.
I am writing to ask for your assistance and prayers. As you may know, my family is from the Philippines. As such, my mother is currently in touch with the Benedictine Order that operates Divine Word Hospital in Tacloban, one of the cities hardest hit by super typhoon Haiyan. Their counterparts in Manila are working to send a generator to restore power, as well as supplies such as food and medicine. The people there are really in dire straits at the moment.
Because my mother… graduated from a university operated by the Benedictine Order in Manila (St. Scholastica), she has been able to get in touch with them about wiring funds to help them through the Gift of Love Foundation. This is a 501c3 charity she established some years ago to help, in part, for these types of circumstances. Anyone interested in donating funds can use the link below, which has information on how to donate by check, credit card, or Paypal. All funds will go directly to the disaster relief effort.
Donate here: http://www.giftoflovecharity.org/home.html
A story of the hospital run buy the nuns is published here: http://www.straitstimes.com/breaking-news/se-asia/story/typhoon-haiyan-no-roof-water-or-power-tacloban-hospital-battles-20131115
As it so happens, my siblings and I were educated in a school operated by the same religious order (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Agnes’_Academy_Legazpi_City) in our hometown of Legazpi City, which was spared from the damage. I personally have trust and faith in the nuns who are trying to help there.
If people would rather work with larger organizations, of course they can donate to AmeriCares or the Red Cross, who are also trying to help in many areas, not just Tacloban. Last but not least, they can also offer their prayers in the weeks to come.
You can also read about the IOCC’s efforts to help the victims of Typhoon Haiyan and donate money to their relief efforts at International Orthodox Christian Charities.