Jack Amick, center, with Typhoon Haiyan volunteers and family food packs. Photo courtesy UMCOR Philippines.
By Jack Amick
Sometimes, the best way to learn is by doing. That principle seems to be especially true when you’re learning about God’s love. That’s why the UMCOR Philippines office was full this morning. It was full of food and theologians. Young seminary students wanted to help and learn. Stacks of 50 kilo rice bags filled the hallway as 25 students, mostly women, from the Philippines Mission Institute, began their work of making food packets for families impacted by Typhoon Haiyan.
These young women were soon joined by students from nearby Union Theological Seminary. But these volunteers were not just students. They were champions. They were the champion varsity football (soccer) team – and their coach.
“These are my champs,” boasted UMCOR Philippines Director Ciony Eduarte. “They are my most experienced and dedicated volunteers. They do the quality control to make sure there are no missing items.”
Her comment about missing items reminds me that UMCOR is intentional about reaching those on the margins and in crisis, making sure no one is missed.
As the evening wore on, the young men were expecting their skateboarder friends to come help out. “Everyone here is eager to help,” Eduarte noted.
By the end of the day, over 800 relief bags were completed, adding to the hundreds that have been assembled in the past few days.
UMCOR's role in Typhoon HaiyanOn Nov. 8, Typhoon Haiyan battered parts of the Philippines. It cut a swath of devastation through the three large island provinces of Samar, Leyte and Bohol.
UMCOR approved a grant to provide emergency food, water, and water purification tablets to 7,500 people (about 1,500 families) in Tacloban City, Leyte Province, which was devastated by Super Typhoon Haiyan.
UMCOR volunteers in Manila have turned locally procured food into family packets, each of which will provide a family of 5 in the affected area with emergency food for around 5 days and costs $50.
Relief efforts are being funded through the UMCOR International Disaster Response Advance #982450. 100% of all gifts will be used to help people in need.
Jack Amick is at the UMCOR Philippines office in Manila and shared this reflection. He is the Assistant General Secretary, International Disaster Response for UMCOR.