Emory groups mobilize to help Philippines

By Leslie King | Emory Report | Nov. 21, 2013

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Emory groups are reaching across the hemispheres to raise awareness and funds to help the victims of Super Typhoon Haiyan that hit the Philippines Nov. 8. Getty Images.

Emory students and staff are mobilizing support efforts to help storm-ravaged areas of the Philippines following the destruction caused by Typhoon Haiyan on Nov. 8.  

"Needed most are funds for shelter, food, water and medicine," says Sam Shartar, senior administrator of Emory's Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response (CEPAR).  

As an example of fundraising events, the Filipino Student Association will host a charity dinner Nov. 23 on campus during the Manny Pacquiao fight event. Proceeds will benefit Advancement for Rural Kids, a nonprofit supporting children in communities that were hit, and in some cases completely wiped out, by the typhoon.  

"What is most beneficial is to figure out which organization you want to support and work with them to financially support the relief effort on the ground rather than trying to ship inventory (to the Philippines)," Shartar says.  

Emory Red Cross Club and the Rollins School of Public Health Student Outbreak and Response Team (SORT) have partnered to facilitate a coordinated campus-wide response to Typhoon Haiyan. The goal is to engage as many groups as possible in coming up with new ideas and collaborations to supplement the planned bake sales and charity dinners for raising cash donations. Another is to provide long-term meaningful support to the disaster victims.

"We have created a Facebook group, the Emory-Atlanta Relief Coalition, to serve as a forum for anyone in the Emory and Atlanta community to share information about local work to support humanitarian relief efforts here and abroad," says a student spokesperson for SORT.

A Google spreadsheet details the representatives, organizations and support activities planned.

"We hope to educate interested parties about how to make giving as easy as possible, as well as share a list of organizations involved in the response that student groups could consider supporting," says Alex Tran of the Emory Red Cross Club.

Some of the events planned or in progress:

  • Emory Red Cross Club: Bake sales, other fundraising efforts in support of the Red Cross, which is on the ground in the Philippines. Contact: Alex Tran
  • Emory Residence Hall Association: Awareness and fundraising activities led  by campus RAs, partnering with Filipino Student Association. Contact: Wei Hui Zhou
  • Humphrey Fellowship Program: Fundraising activities in support of CARE, with Emory’s Fellows coordinating efforts with Humphrey Fellows in universities nationwide. Contact: Carmen Bolinto
  • Rollins Environmental Health and Action Committee: Raising funds in support of Doctors Without Borders sanitation efforts for Haiyan victims. Contact: Courtney McGuire 
  • Filipino Student Association. Contact Tad Manalo for more information about the Nov. 23 charity dinner.
  • Office of International Student Life is collecting donations for UNICEF in DUC E228. Contact: Natalie Cruz
  • Candler students are spearheading donations to the United Methodist Committee on Relief. A donation box for cash and checks made out to UMCOR-Typhoon Relief is in the 2nd floor lobby of Candler's Rollins Building. Contact: John Yeager

"With the death toll rising every day, and millions of people stripped of their livelihoods and left without basic human needs, this humanitarian crisis will persist for far longer than we may realize," student organizers said.  

"Yet though we at Emory may live a world away from this disaster, we can still make a difference."