On November 8, 2013, Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines. Ahead of the storm, the United Methodist Committee on Relief had teams there laying the groundwork for a quick response. UMCOR is now coordinating a long-term plan. Leaders at UMCOR say prayers and dollars must keep coming.
Voice of Denise Honeycutt, UMCOR: "UMCOR really is the local church. The work that we do is only made possible because of the local church around the world."
When Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines in early November 2013, United Methodists around the world responded, with gifts and prayers. The dollars given to the United Methodist Committee on Relief go directly to those in most need.
(Locator: New York, NY)
Denise Honeycutt, Deputy General Secretary, UMCOR: "100% of your money will go to those people in the Philippines and that's a huge thing. You can give to a lot of organizations but there are few that can say 100% of what you give will go to help those in need."
Francesco Paganini, Executive Secretary, UMCOR International Disaster Response: "The best way to really support a response is through dollars because we can get dollars working on the ground very quickly. They're extremely versatile, and it enables the organization to provide relief that's needed specific to what the needs are and it enables us to do it immediately. There's this tendency to want to send material goods. And I can understand it, even from a perspective of seeing the images on television, you know. Material goods can be very useful in a certain context. By the time it gets there, that might not be the right stuff that's needed on the ground. You're also not supporting the local markets. Volunteers have been on the ground in Manila making food packets. What the food packets consist of is some prepared foods, some rice, all stuff that the Filipinos are gonna be familiar with. Cause you want the food to be something the people know how to prepare, that they're comfortable with. And the packets are for a family. So it will provide enough food for about 5 days for a family and they cost about 50 USD. We have a network of volunteers in the Philippines. These are Filipinos. Even if you're from the Philippines, you may have a hard time navigating a response in another area. But our volunteers, generally they come from the province. Or even the city where the disaster's occurred. Really the goal for any organization working in the Philippines should be that the next time there's an event like this, the impact is mitigated because we built back better. And we can really only do that if the international community focuses on the long term, which can be challenging."
Denise Honeycutt: "Many people are giving so I want to say on behalf of the UMCOR staff, on behalf of the people of the Philippines, on behalf of those people who will wake up tomorrow and have something to eat for the next week who did not have that before, I want to say, 'Thank you,' for those people. I want to thank those men and women in the pews who are giving sacrificially."
Please continue to pray for Typhoon Haiyan survivors.
And remember, your gifts to International Disaster Response, UMCOR Advance #982450, will help UMCOR respond now and over the coming years.
To learn more, UMCOR.org.
To follow coverage of how The United Methodist Church is responding to the typhoon in the Philippines, visit umc.org/philippines-typhoon.
Make a donation to United Methodist Committee on Relief's International Disaster Response.