Red Cross appeals for cash donations for typhoon victims
December 6, 2013
Red Cross appeals for cash donations for typhoon victims

Individuals wishing to assist persons, who were devastated by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, may make cash donations as early as today.{{more}}

During a press conference on Wednesday, the St Vincent and the Grenadines Red Cross Society launched an appeal, which seeks to collect cash donations to assist persons affected by Typhoon Haiyan.

President of the Society Bernard Morgan revealed that the appeal is being done in response to requests from international Red Cross societies.

“This typhoon made landfall in the Philippines on November 8 and caused tremendous devastation to many villages, towns and cities. The communities in some cases, the loss was overwhelming and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent and the Filipino Red Cross, they have asked us, the St Vincent and the Grenadines Red Cross Society, to make an appeal to get assistance for these people in the Philippines, our brothers and sisters,” he said.

Morgan also pointed out that SVG usually receives aid from international sources whenever there is a disaster.

“We in St Vincent and the Grenadines have been affected by natural phenomena in the past and governments throughout the world and indeed communities throughout the world, they have rendered assistance. Whether it was in 1979 when we had the volcanic eruptions or as recent as 2010, when we had the passage of Hurricane Tomas,” the president said.

“So indeed, when we have these events, we are really our brothers’ keepers and I think this is a very important principle and I know the Vincentian community; they are very sensitive to the needs of people and the suffering of people, whether it be in the Caribbean or indeed any part of the world”.

While some appeals ask for food or clothing, the SVG Red Cross Society is pleading with Vincentians to make cash only donations.

In her remarks, treasurer Jillian Simmons explained the reason behind this approach.

“At the moment, persons need extremely, medicine and food, which is why we’re asking for strictly cash donations,” Simmons said.

“We’re looking for strictly cash donations because shipping to the Philippines is impossible at this point. There is no storage there. Getting to the Philippines, the shipping and logistics is ridiculously impossible at this point in time. Persons have actually already tried, internationally to send teddy bears they’ve purchased and little items for children and they have to in some cases, throw them out because they cannot take them to the Philippines and when you get there, there is no storage”.

The treasurer indicated that there are several ways in which persons can make their cash donations to provide Filipinos with food and medicine.

“As early as Friday of this week, persons can go to the Bank of St Vincent and the Grenadines and make their cash donations to the ‘Typhoon Haiyan Disaster Fund’ account. If you can’t remember the name, just ask for the typhoon account. At least that would be the first name that persons would be familiar with and can remember,” Simmons said.

Additionally, she stated that “the strictly cash donations can be brought to the Red Cross office, where we have a personalized receipt book for those cash donations”.

As part of the initiative, the SVG Red Cross Society has joined forces with the Filipino community in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Representative of the Filipino community Dr Lorna Vergara highlighted some of the fund-raisers that are likely to be held in the near future.

“To start with, we are trying to spearhead a fund-raiser for a cause. This is actually a walk. In this, we are trying to see if we can sell some T-shirts as a form of donation. Aside from this, we are also trying to do a fund-raising in terms of food festival where we will try to showcase our local Filipino food and maybe Vincentian food,” Vergara said.

“So, we are also trying to see if we can…do some fund-raising in terms of cultural presentations and so on. We also plan to put up donation boxes in strategic places where the public will be going every day like the supermarkets, the post office and the banks”.

Vergara also noted that this will be a long-term effort, as there was a significant amount of damage done and lives lost in the Philippines.

“This will be a long-term effort, because this will be a continuous effort; this will be a continuous campaign and this is not only for one or two fund-raising, but hopefully, we are trying to see if this can be a continuous fund-raising,” she said.

The SVG Red Cross Society also noted that they will be trying to solicit help from business places to aid with the fund-raising process.

“In their (the Philippines) time of need, I know the Vincentian public would contribute generously to this humanitarian cause,” Morgan said. “I come to you, fellow Vincentians and I appeal to you to give generously to this fund that we are about to establish at the Bank of St Vincent and the Grenadines”.(BK)