STAR's 'Sendong' fund drive hits P2.35 M
() - January 8, 2012 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Operation Damayan, the philanthropic arm of the Philippines’ biggest newspaper group, reported yesterday new donations totaling P357,600, which upped the amount raised by The STAR for victims of tropical storm “Sendong” to P2.35 million.

The most recent donations came from Estrella Lombos, P200,000; Korean Airlines through its regional manager Sang-wook Bae, P100,000; Team Ministries International, P20,000; Alden Jallorina, P15,000; Joaquin and Menchu Henson with Vicky Henson Jones, P10,000; Anonymous (with deposit slip), P5,000; volunteers of Operation Damayan, P4,000; Operation Damayan Team A, P1,100; Manzon family, P1,000; and Boy Mendoza, P1,000.

Recently in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan cities to assess the most pressing needs of families affected by the disaster, Damayan lead coordinator Emie Cruz, who heads the team of STAR volunteer employees that carries out The STAR Group’s various social projects, recounted how the scenes she saw seemed eerily familiar.

“Moving from one purok to the next, I had flashbacks of the very same scenes of devastation that I had seen before,” Cruz said, saying that it was like St. Bernard, Guinsaugon, Southern Leyte; Real and Infanta, Quezon; and Iloilo after typhoon “Frank” all over again.

These areas had suffered massive damage when natural calamity struck in the form of typhoons and mudslides, leaving a trail of untold destruction and turning once-vibrant towns into desolate burial grounds. The typical scene, Cruz recalls, is that of houses and paths covered in mud, logs and boulders entrenched in villages, and distraught families not knowing where to begin to recover what they have lost.

“Walang pinagkaiba. Parang ayoko na nga mag-ikot o magtanong at malaman ang story nila (Nothing’s changed. I don’t feel like going around or asking their stories) because I know how helpless they feel,” Cruz shared. After the flood of relief goods that served them in good stead for Christmas and the New Year, their stocks have depleted and they are left emptyhanded, most of them still without roofs over their heads, without livelihood for their families’ upkeep, and in most cases, without a future on the horizon.

“What they need most now is potable water, basic food, underwear, soap, detergents, nylon or canvass as makeshift tents, and carpentry tools,” Cruz said.

Soon, with the help of donations from kindhearted individuals and organizations, Operation Damayan will be providing these to the most needy families affected by Sendong.

We continue to appeal for cash or cheque donations to: The Philippine STAR Operation Damayan c/o Metrobank Aduana Branch Savings Account No. 151-304-161622-9. Donors are requested to fax their deposit slips to tel. no. 301-9598 (c/o Operation Damayan) and to confirm receipt of their donations and details thereof for acknowledgment.

The STAR’s Operation Damayan Sendong fund drive is also open to donations from kababayans abroad who wish to send in their contributions through i-Remit remittance centers in over 700 locations worldwide.

ALDEN JALLORINA BOY MENDOZA CHRISTMAS AND THE NEW YEAR CRUZ DAMAYAN EMIE CRUZ ESTRELLA LOMBOS JOAQUIN AND MENCHU HENSON KOREAN AIRLINES METROBANK ADUANA BRANCH SAVINGS ACCOUNT NO OPERATION DAMAYAN
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