Amidst the calamity, the spirit of volunteerism is very much alive in the Philippines. Many responded to the call of helping those affected by Typhoon Ketsana. Different organizations and civil society groups have come together to express their solidarity by donating goods and kinds to the survivors of Typhoon Ketsana. Many have offered their time in repacking goods in warehouses of sponsoring institutions. The National Council of Churches in the Philippines of which the United Methodist Church is member, also joined the relief efforts in the marginalized areas of the metropolis. Relief goods were distributed to Payatas in Quezon city.
Students from the Union Theological Seminary (UTS) have also come together to express their sympathy for survivors by voluntarily participating in the relief efforts spearheaded by the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). Believing that human suffering should be alleviated, the seminarians and some of the members of the UTS community offered their time to participate in repacking of goods. According to Ms. Ciony Ayo-Eduarte, office manager of UMCOR Philippines, the response was overwhelming when she made an announcement for people to participate in the relief efforts during the chapel service. Around 30 people voluntarily went to UMCOR depot (office) to participate in the repacking of goods to be distributed in Pampanga, Laguna and Bulacan.
During the orientation at UMCOR depot (office), Ms. Eduarte reiterated the need for people to be prepared as another disaster is yet to come. "As long as there is a calamity, whether human made or natural, UMCOR will continue to respond with open hearts and open minds to all people,"she said.
By Nony Eduarte, husband of Ciony Ayo-Eduarte, office manager, UMCOR Philippines