Browsing Posts tagged help

Typhoon Haiyan

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As you’ve likely seen in the news over the last few days, the Philippines were hit by Typhoon Haiyan, the strongest typhoon to make landfall in recorded history, with winds in excess of 200 mph, resulting in thousands of lives likely lost, and hundreds of thousands displaced from their homes. Our thoughts and well-wishes go out to everyone affected by this devastating natural disaster. CNN has a page on its website listing many ways in which you can help the survivors of Typhoon Haiyan. We urge you to help any way you can. Thank you.

Children’s Hope Fund is holding its inaugural Halloween Boo-Bash and Silent Auction Fundraiser at 7pm on 10/23/2010 at Rex Lounge in Denver, CO. (map)

Come help us celebrate our one-year anniversary and help the children of Bacoor, Cavite in the Philippines. There will be a DJ with music and karaoke, dancing, and lots of fun. We’re getting a lot of great items donated for the silent auction, so come bid and treat yourself to something good while helping the children at the same time.

It’s just $5 at the door to join in the fun, with all proceeds from the door and the silent auction going to help the kids.  Costumes are optional, so wear one if you want, but don’t feel like you have to in order to join in.

Please let all your friends know, and we look forward to seeing you there!

“A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove…but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child.” ~ Forest E. Witcraft

This quote will forever resonate with me.  Our volunteers in the Philippines received over a hundred letters this past week from children dreaming to get an education, each one of them promising to study hard and get good grades. It makes me sad because I know the place of desperation they’re coming from – I’ve been there.  I know the feeling of not knowing if I will be able attend the upcoming school year or not.  I remember walking for miles, rain or shine, to attend school, many times hungry.  As a child I often wondered if there is any good in this world, will God save me from poverty and why a simple goal of getting an education seems so unattainable.  All I wanted to do as a child is go to school and to finish college.  I wanted to be a doctor, a lawyer, a teacher, but my parents could not afford to send me to school.  As a child I cleaned people’s houses, I washed dishes, I sold figurines to people, I sold food on the street, babysat, and washed people’s laundry so I have money to buy supplies for school.  Most of my childhood memories are infused with a sense of constant desperation – “we have no money to buy food”.  In spite of the difficulties, obstacles,  and discouragement somehow I made it!

Sadly, thousands of Filipino children are not as lucky.  So many of them are not going to attend school this year because their family’s total earnings are barely enough to buy food, so there is no money left for things like clothes and shoes, a toothbrush, pens or pencils, and other small items we use daily, often without realizing their true value.   According to UNICEF one billion children are deprived of one or more services essential to survival and development and two million Filipino children are currently not in school.  In response to this need Children’s Hope Fund is launching a Back 2 School Backpack Drive.  School year in the Philippines begins the second week of June; we are collecting school supplies, gently used children’s storybooks, picture books, backpacks, gently used clothes and toys for preschool to 6th grade level. Our goal is to help over 300 in-need children be ready and able to attend school. Please support our Back 2 School Backpack Drive.  For as little as $20.00 you can give a child a head start toward a better future by helping them get an education. Please show your support for these children and join us in reaching out to underprivileged kids in the Philippines.

When The Elephants DanceI went to the library to find a good read and I stumbled across the book When the Elephants Dance by Tess Uriza Holthe. I always read the first page of the book before I take it home with me. Scanning the excerpt and first paragraph, I was immediately convinced this story would not only be wonderful, but could tell me more about the colors, history and lifestyle of the Philippines. It takes place near Cavite during World War II. Holthe captures my attention with her first sentence, “Papa explains the war like this: ‘When the elephants dance, the chickens must be careful.’ The great beasts, as they circle one another, shaking the trees and trumpeting loudly, are the Amerikanos and the Japanese as they fight. And our Philippine Islands? We are the small chickens.” The analogy hits home with me as I think about the devastation World War II must have caused the Filipino people, having their home ransacked with bombing and death without being able to take a stand with either side. In this story, I read about what lengths people are willing to go in search for food and to care for their families. I read about the honor and courage it takes to fend for one’s life. I read about the struggle and pain a country can suffer from starvation and poverty. After reading this novel, I admire the strength and heart it takes to endure a hard life and I can only hope to show the same kind of strength and heart in my own life. I believe the organizations, non-profits, and everyday people who give their time, energy, and love to aid in ending a life of suffering show exactly the kind of heart and strength I am looking for.

Just a few days ago, I received a letter from a mother in the Philippines. Her name is Erlana. Her one year old boy, Al, is very sick. He was admitted at the Philippine General Hospital on January 11, 2009. He was diagnosed to be suffering from malnutrition and cardiomyopathy.

Cardiomyopathy is a serious disease in which the heart muscle becomes inflamed and doesn’t work as well as it should. Al needed to undergo continuous medication which his parents could not afford to support, as they are a low income family, a fisherman. Their earnings are barely enough to pay for one meal a day.

Each day, each week, each month, many children die in the Philippines. This is not because the doctors are unskilled or incompetent. These children die because they are poor and their families cannot afford medicine and treatment. It was heartbreaking reading this letter. More often than not the endings of these stories are not so happy. Right now, I don’t have much money to donate however I will try my very best to help.

I do hope I can make people aware of how trying the lives of these children are. There are no words or pictures to describe the depth of poverty these children live with every day. No one has a choice in when and where they are born, they simply must survive as best they can. I am now asking, in fact I am begging and praying for a miracle that somehow, someway, a donor, a gift, a moment, and saving grace comes and saves these children.

This holiday season, as we’re dashing across town buying presents celebrating with friends and family, let’s remember to take some time out of our hectic schedules to make the season a little brighter for those who are in need. Wondering where our next meal is coming from is something most of us never have to worry about. However for many children in the Philippines it a constant concern. Thanks to everyone who has supported this cause, this past Sunday, December 20, 2009 hot meals we’re given to over 250 hungry children at Tabing Dagat, an impoverished area of Cavite. By providing warm meals during this holiday season we are bring hope to those who are struggling to survive. The activity was conducted by the Baranggay Captain Evez Delacruz along with volunteers who unselfishly shared their time and effort in the preparation and distribution of the meals.

Thank you to all who made it possible for these kids to enjoy a much needed meal. I would also like to thank the people of Bacoor who volunteered their time to help facilitate everything. Please check out the pictures so you can see the children that you’re helping.

Having grown up in the Philippines, I have experienced living in poverty, but what I encountered when I went to visit the Tabing Dagat of Bacoor Cavite this past November was truly heartbreaking. The little girl photographed above is covered with open sores and she’s very sick. She lives in a house which has no doors, windows, furniture, plumbing or running water. A makeshift shanty. It serves as their home which they share with multiple other family members. There’s no bathroom, they do their necessities wherever they can. Unfortunately, this house is not the exception there. The reality is many children just like Gemma are sick and dying everyday. Impoverished Filipino families cannot afford healthcare or basic hygiene and sanitation facilities, and according to the barangay Captain (similar to a Mayor), four out of five children get sick without being able to see the doctor at all. The sheer force of of poverty I saw there is overwhelming and it will take me a few months to digest. You see I was lucky. After spending days of ducking in and out of shafts, walking muddy roads, surrounded by the smell of open sewers while visiting the impoverished area, I got to leave. They don’t. Those children will still be there waiting for a ray of hope. Individuals like you can help begin a chain reaction of hope and caring, with more and more people joining in and making a difference. More people need to be compassionate and understanding. It’s a very tough world out there or these children and life is the most precious gift. We need to save and protect these children.

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