While super typhoon Yolanda has left in its wake a widespread destruction in the Visayas areas, it did not dampen the spirit of volunteerism that made the people rise above the calamity.
When the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) made a call for assistance for people to help it pack its relief goods for northern Cebu, they came in droves the foundation even had to direct many to other groups also preparing food and water for the typhoon victims.
They came from all walks of life, and some were even victims themselves. Such was the case of Vincent Kevin Cabus of Talisay City, Cebu who placed a deeper meaning in his effort.
“I am hoping that these relief packs would reach to my family and relatives in Leyte. They are greatly affected by the typhoon. This is my own little way of helping all the victims. We cannot just sit back and do nothing,” he said.
The call for volunteer for the second batch of RAFI relief operations last Nov. 11 gathered so many volunteers, who even include foreign tourists.
For that day, six thousand relief packs were produced for distribution in mainland Cebu, particularly Bogo City and the towns of Daanbantayan, San Remigio, and Medellin.
“I know my parents would be grateful of what I am doing now. This is the very least I could to help them. I cannot give cash donations. I can only give my service and time,” said one American guy, who opted not to have his name mentioned.
He said he felt happy seeing so many people showing their love for the affected victims.
Each pack RAFI prepares contains rice (four kilos), sugar (one-half kilo), salt (one-half kilo) noodles (four packs), milk 150-gram pack), bath soap, shampoo (12 pieces), toothbrush (one pack), toothpaste (six pieces), canned goods (two cans), and bottled water.
“We should continue giving them all efforts we could give. Our relief efforts are our way of showing them our genuine support and love,” he added.
Had there been no volunteers, who include students who were still in their uniforms, the RAFI employees alone would have had a hard time meeting the quota set for the number of relief packs prepared.
The Insomiaks, a group of mostly out-of-school-youth in barangay Apas, Cebu City, trooped together to the Casa Gorordo Museum grounds, where RAFI were packing relief items, Twenty-two of them chose to spend their spare time unloading sacks of rice.
“This is one of our humanitarian services. It is very fulfilling to be able to spend a few hours of our time volunteering. Many people would benefit with our efforts,” Chaumet Jethruvine Serana said.
He added that this is the first time that their group volunteered for relief operations.
Yesterday, volunteers again made the difference as RAFI packed 5,000 pieces of relief goods. The foundation would prepare 5,000 packs each day for the next three days.
“We must let them feel that we are here for them. Together we can stand up again from this calamity. We are one for lifting the victims up,” said one volunteer.
The Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) is accepting donations for our fellow Cebuanos affected by super typhoon Yolanda. Donations could be dropped at the RAFI office along Lopez Jaena St., Parian, Cebu City; or at the Casa Gorordo Museum. RAFI is open anytime to accept all donations.
For those who cannot proceed to RAFI’s office, they can deposit their cash donations in the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. Unionbank of the Philippines Peso Current Account No. 0027-8000-3279; Dollar Savings Account No. 1327-8000-0852 (Swift Code: UBPHPHMM).
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