In response to the devastation on our island and on the neighboring island of Leyte, CSC has mounted some relief efforts to relieve suffering and give hope. Although we have not actively solicited donations for a major relief initiative, loyal and generous CSC donors have given. The outpouring of love has been amazing. Some of it comes from former residents and their families who want to help birth families. The rest comes from people who have heard about and seen the tragic results of the typhoon that hit our part of the country.
On Tuesday, November 19, Carmelita Baya, CSC's Senior Social Worker, went to northern Cebu to deliver food and water to families known to the CSC family. She and our driver, Edwin Martinez, brought mineral water, canned goods, rice, noodles and dried fish to three families of former residents. Although Cebu City was spared significant storm damage, northern Cebu got hit very hard. The families were thrilled to receive the boxes for good. Their only other option was to fall in line for hours at a government distribution center where they would only be given a small bag of food. One of the women that they visited was standing in the long line when someone came and told her that Carmelta was at her home. When she ran there Carmelita said, "You don't have to wait in line. We came to see you!" All three families have major damage to their houses which was assessed by Carmelita. We will try to help them with building supplies soon. We cannot help all the people who need assistance. We can't even offer aid to all the people we know personally. But we can help some and we are trying our best to do that. We are not a rescue or relief agency, just a group of people who want to help, even in relatively small ways.
The next trip will be tomorrow. Carmelita and three others will be going to Leyte, the hardest hit of all the islands. Again, we will be distributing food and doing assessments of houses of people we know. This morning we went to the supermarked in Cebu City and purchased food for ten families. This will be a three day trip and the team will be going to several towns with these goods.
Here are some pictures of the damaged homes of the families that we are helping: