Yesterday, the monsoon rains relented and we were able to experience some sunshine, much needed by this devastated city. Most of the water had receded and many of the roads are now drivable. As we watched the news, it was heart wrenching to hear that in Metro Manila alone there are over 44,000 people forced out of their homes by the waters, now living in 359 crowded evacuation centers. The amount of food and supplies needed to care for these people is overwhelming to think about.
Anxious to do something, Lynnette went online to look for ways that we could help. She found a government center that needed volunteers in packing relief bags for the evacuation centers. A few friends from church joined us and we headed out finding ourselves in a room too small to handle the amount of volunteers that were squeezed in with all the food and clothing.
It was encouraging to see all these people committed to volunteer, but the amount of people packed in that room seemed to actually slow down the relief packaging process. So, with difficulty, we packed some relief packages and then decided to jump in a jeepney and move to another relief center at the University of Philippines (UP), hoping we would be more of a help and less of a hindrance.
Arriving at UP we entered a huge gymnasium, buzzing with action and young people. Each of us quickly jumped into helping in different areas, which included creating rice bags, sorting clothes, filling relief bags or simply falling into a chain line to move bags and boxes from one place to another. It was awesome to see the amount of donations that had come in and the amount of relief bags that were created by the hundreds of volunteers eager to help the flood victims.
It was a tiring day, but we were blessed to help in the small way that we did. There's still so much that needs to be done for those impacted, and to rebuild/clean up the city. We continue to keep all those effected in our prayers.
Check out the video that Lynnette made of our experience: