During the last four days, Divine Lee, her crew and I have been closely working together to help the “Ondoy” casualties. Through the use of mobile phones, Twitter, Facebook and email, our little barkada has now grown into a mini task force: Divine is the Commander-in-chief; Milan, Assistant to the CIC; Our fashion friends, as relief goods soldiers, and according to Divine, I’m “Command Center” — dispachadora ng information and shoppingera of relief goods! LOL
Seriously, it’s the most fulfilling role we’ve ever played and will continue to do. Bayanihan spirit, activate!
I forced Divine to write about their experience yesterday in one of our relief works — Operation: “Bayanihan”. Thanks so much Divine-ski!! I know you were already tired from yesterday’s work. I super appreciate it! Love you!!
Divine has been in the front, back, side, up, down and around lines so this first-hand information.
I’m proud to present, the newest contributor to jenniepperson.com… Ms. Divine Lee!
Through Divine’s Blackberry and email, here goes…
I wanted to finish this before sleeping. I texted you something that might help too. Our main goal is to raise awareness. Normally, we should never say or state the charitable acts that we do. But a tragedy as big as this, we need to unite. We need to appeal to the people, and to “tickle their fancy” as you put it.
Today, your goods made a difference. Honestly, the hype is dwindling and some people are already starting to forget. Humans tend to easily forget. But I guess being on the “front lines” reminds me that there is a lot more work to be done.
Tips on how people can do their own relief drives. I will go into deeper detail here:
1. CHARITY STARTS AT HOME. So, check if you know anyone you can help. That is always the first priority. Also, through this you can find out and hear stories about how different areas were devastated. From there, you can begin to map out and plan your relief operations.
2. Try to contact an organization in that area. Staging areas usually set up at churches or schools. Maybe even a victim you know personally can help organize your relief operations (all he has to do is contact his neighbors). You can always try guerilla style: but this works better when going house to house. If you are planning to accommodate a large number of people, have them congregate in a common area. Better yet if you have tanods and local barangay officials to help you maintain order. They will do this for FREE. All the payment necessary is food and drinks.
3. Have the people list down names so you get a rough idea as to how much goods to prepare. TAKE THE LIST with you on the day of operation.
4. Prepare goods (add an extra 10%) and prepare stubs. What stubs? You may any sheet of paper and cut into pieces. Number it if you have time.
5. Know where you will set up your relief drive: make sure the local leader prepares tables and chairs for your friends/volunteers.
*Things to consider: Bring boxes for easy loading and unloading of goods (trolleys if u have them), pens, markers, MEGAPHONE (if you have one), and preferably, do it in the morning so you have daylight. If it’s too hot though, you can also set up at night, so long as there are lights available.
6. Set up a table each for the stub collection and goods distribution. for the goods table, we had more than one category of relief good bags so we further divided it into adults/family and kids.
7. Roll call the list and give each name called a stub. While your doing this, those with stubs can start lining up to collect their relief goods. Upon collection, collect each stub and tear it up.
8. Repeat until the line ends (or for however long your supplies hold out).
Be sure to have food and drinks for your volunteers. It does get tedious after awhile, and nothing revitalizes better than refreshments. Also, if you can, try to bring a doctor and nurse who can set-up in an adjacent area, and give basic medicine.”
“Nobody, nobody, but chu!”
“So here’s what happened. The traffic and collection of goods took awhile so we arrived pretty late. But better late than never, right? We had a team in Village East Cainta waiting for us, so when we got there the people were already organized. Our resident doctor was already set up and was doing his check ups already. He had to finish 50 patients in 4 hours! So while waiting for the stubs to be distributed and the goods to be unloaded, we wanted to lighten the spirits of everyone gathered, so we suggested a dance contest. 10 kids were picked for a dance off. At this point the line had grown steadily, so we decided to start handing out goods. It was very fun and lively. I guess, the filipino spirit always overcomes tremendous grief. You feel that people have already started to accept what happened, and are ready for a new start. So they were actually happy and laughing. We were all chatty while giving out the goods, and everyone was in high spirits. Elmer was our front line and with his humor the whole place was bursting with laughter. After we finished handing out 300 packs, we realized that we still had more. Double what was needed! So we decided to continue onwards to another center. But as we were leaving, the kids started shouting that we forgot the dance off. SO… GAME! With no radio or lights, we used the headlights of cars and made go through with their number. Everyone just started to sing NOBODY NOBODY BUT CHU…. while all the kids were dancing to it. It was utterly heartwarming, and we wanted to choose them all as winners. But syempre d pwede. We ended up choosing 5 winners out of the 20 contestants.
Now on to the next place. Everything was still messy, and alot of garbage still littered the streets. WE REALLY NEED TO DEVISE A CLEAN UP OPERATION. COMMAND CENTER JENNI, But how to go about it??? It was pitch dark at this staging area. So again we used car headlights to distribute. We were trying to organize everyone and at the same time liven up their spirits. Elmer started shouting “line up according to beauty!” And guess what.. of course a gay guy came first. It was hilarious and soon we were all laughing and cracking jokes. While we were distributing, a bunch of tanods and police arrived and proceeded to assist us. We didnt need to call them – they just wanted to help out. We were then able to distribute another 300 packs. EXACTO ulit our goods! whew!
As a conclusion, i firmly believe that we Filipinos have good spirits and are naturally happy people. It’s obvious as early as now… people are more relaxed and ready to put their grief aside even if only temporarily, in order to snatch up what happiness they can for the moment. Our trip today was mostly about that: giving back relief in different ways. Yes it came in the form of goods, but also, relief came in the reminder that yes, they are still alive. Relief came and said that it’s ok to be happy again. And with that knowledge, our mission now is more to inspire people and make them believe that not all is lost. For they can rebuild their lives, little by little, smile by smile, and laugh by laugh. LIVE. LOVE. LAUGH. 🙂 That was the Motto for today’s mission.
Nobody, nobody, but chu… sorry last song syndrome:)”
Divine and crew at the Village East Cainta
Funny line from Elmer during relief: “Line up according to beauty.” Ha-ha! Elmer should never lead!
These boots are made for relief work. LOL
In the face of disaster and calamity, the Pinoy spirit emerges. We love you, kids!
Stacy (black t-sirt) and Anna Moncupa (beige tee) with some of the Cainta kids volunteer.
Sharing is caring.
From left: Gabrielle Tatad and Stacy Rodriguez
Dance, sister, dance! “Nobody, nobody, but chu…”
I didn’t get to save the links from jenni’s blog and i think she changed domain narin. I just grabbed this from my saved files.
But please do visit her page it’s http://welovejenni.blogspot.com/
All the repost I did was from her old blog. Her writing skills and blog helped us a lot.
We are still closely working with organizations in Payatas and i have been coordinating messages with Sulyap community (Noah’s ark) led by Mrs. Abad. Work is never done guys. Kaya galaw galaw! 🙂