Tuesday, September 29, 2009

please donate

In case you haven't heard, over the weekend, the Philippines was hit with a major typhoon. Typhoon Ondoy (aka Typhoon Ketsana) is one of the most devastating typhoons that has ever hit the metro Manila area, leaving entire cities completely submerged under water and hundreds left to die. It's a story that breaks my heart because over a year ago, I lived in the Philippines and I am familiar with these places that are featured in the news stories. I have a few friends who I haven't heard from yet. In particular, one of my academic friends and mentors lives in Cainta, one of the cities that was submerged. Prayers go out to him all the people who are still stranded on their rooftops waiting for help.

Vietnam has also been hit with Typhoon Ondoy. Finally, a major tsunami has hit Samoa and American Samoa. Again, prayers go out to the people who are suffering and seeking help in the aftermath of these natural disasters.

With this, I urge each and every one of you to please donate in any way you can to the rescue and relief efforts that are currently taking place. Unfortunately, the Philippine government is known to be *ahem* less than honest. Therefore, many U.S. organizations and individuals have taken it upon themselves to set up accounts and such to ensure the money goes directly to victims to buy food and medical supplies. Here are some ways you can contribute:

(Note: I'm listing these organizations and relief efforts because they are people I trust.)

Bayan USA has set up a paypal account for your donations.

Those of us in the U.S. can donate through the Red Cross's International Donation set-up. Simply call the American Red Cross at 1-800-435-7669. Choose the third option which is “International Donation.” Then please tell the operator that your donation is for the Ondoy (Ketsana) typhoon victims in the Philippines.

For those of us who live in the San Francisco bay area, please check out this article. It lists drop-off places where you can bring food, clothing, and medical supplies that will be shipped to the Philippines.

Finally, I wanted to share the following information from my dear friend Sunny Vergara. His brother Happy Vergara set up a special paypal account and posted it on facebook. In two days, they raised over $3000. Happy has been posting photos on his facebook page so that people can see their money at work. Here's the story:

Helping victims of typhoon Andoy (aka Happy, Clarissa & Monica's Grocery Runs for Typhoon Andoy)

Hi folks, here's a slightly more direct way of helping out the victims of Typhoon Andoy -- my brother Happy Vergara has set up an email account just for Paypal donations (paypal@622design.com) and has raised $1500 today from Facebook friends alone! He and his spouse Clarissa David, and her sister Monica, have been running off to the supermarket and buying the canned goods themselves and dropping them off personally at the relief center in Ateneo. Please help!

UPDATE (12:30 PST): They've raised enough money to make a second run to the supermarket this afternoon (9/28 Manila time) and will keep returning to the supermarket to buy canned goods as long as the donations keep coming in. But we know that won't be enough -- some people are still stranded on the roofs of their houses, the flood waters aren't all receding yet, and thousands of people are still displaced from their homes (or what's left of them).

UPDATE (9/28, 6:00 PST): And once again, the Facebook posse has come through: my brother woke up this morning to find over $790 more in funds, bringing the total up to $3031 in 24 hours! He'll be making a third run to the supermarket and the pharmacy today (vitamins and rehydration salts are what is needed right now).

UPDATE (9/29, 8:30 AM PST): The third batch of groceries were just purchased and delivered, and they've raised $4,100 -- thanks to all you Facebookers!

UPDATE (9/29, 9:15 PM PST): the total is now $4,700 in 48 hours from Facebook -- thanks again! Clarissa and Monica are out buying groceries again; we'll keep you folks updated!


I know it's frustrating for those of us who live away from the Philippines and can't seem to find a way to do this securely online (and not have to bother with wire transfers and check clearing, or worry that the funds may go into the wrong hands). Happy just took the initiative and set up the Paypal account -- please write me for more details or send cash via Paypal to paypal@622design.com (and let me know, if you like). *100%* of your donations are going directly towards purchasing the relief goods. (Sorry, we're not set up for receipts or tax deductions -- all this has been an informal learning experience for us, and the best we can do is a "thank you" note and a tag on Facebook -- but we truly appreciate your help.)

See also pictures of Happy, Clarissa and Monica here -- buying the groceries and driving them off to the relief center: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2322521&id=5522807&ref=mf (or http://tr.im/zXPZ)

Here's the New York Times article on Typhoon Andoy, along with pictures of the devastation. Also see the NY Times News Blog article.

There are now many other places that also accept online donations:

BAYAN-USA (I know these folks)



the ABS-CBN Foundation

the GMA Kapuso Foundation (the TV station, not that GMA)

the Philippine National Red Cross (EDIT: their online form looked a litte hinky earlier, but they now have a Paypal account: give@redcross.org.ph)

the World Food Programme

the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (the specific Philippine link, which was there before, seems to have gone missing from the drop-down menu, but it'll return, I hope)

the Canadian Red Cross

There's probably a drop-off site in a city near you as well; NAFCON/Sandiwa, among others, are coordinating them.)

Whichever way you donate, it's extremely appreciated, and a little goes a long way in the Philippines. Of the grocery items that the three have purchased:

- $1 will buy 10 juice boxes,
- $5 will buy 5 cans of tuna,
- $10 will buy 24 packs of powdered milk,
- $17 will buy a 55-pound sack of rice (more or less, we think, 100+ cups of cooked rice, which means a hundred-odd people!)

As soon as I hear of any information about donating to the Vietnam and Samoa efforts, I will definitely post! Thank you all for listening and I do hope you help in any way possible! On to the WOD...

Run 800 meters
Row 1000 meters
Overhead squat work
Squats on the wall

CrossFit One World WOD
Complete three rounds of:
As many burpees (with a 6" jump) as you can complete in five minutes.
Rest three minutes
Post the number of burpees performed in each round to comments.

Joanne's Final Count - 42/36/38 = 116

Notes (to myself) about this workout: Burpees suck. They suck even more if you've been out of commission and decide to come back on burpee day.

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