Typhoon Ondoy Relief Effort at USF

20 10 2009

You can find a lot of discussion going on regarding Typhoon Ondoy. It has been on the web, on local TV news stations, in our classrooms, throughout campus, and even within many of our families. From all these sources, we can gather that it only took 12 hours for a month’s worth of rain to fall upon the Philippines, took 24 hours to reach almost 18 inches, and left the people of the Philippines with damaged property, physical and emotional injury, and lost lives.

Unlike corrupt governments, vicious wars, and deteriorating economies, Typhoon Ondoy belongs in the category natural disasters. This natural disaster could only be foreseen a few days before by the JTWC Joint Typhoon Warning Center as they gave a Tropical Cyclone Formation Alert on what was then just Tropical Depression Ondoy (For the definition of a tropical depression as opposed to typhoons and other grades of storms, please visit the official website of the National Hurricane Center). As a natural disaster, it was not directly caused by any one person or party. There was no way to prevent it and very little time to prepare. All that could be done was for anyone in the natural disaster to protect themselves and their loved ones, as well as salvage whatever they could. All we were able to do on this side of the Pacific was to pray for the best and begin preparing to help them.

This preparation and relief effort quickly came to fruition on the campus of the University of San Francisco. Kasamahan, the Filipino-American Student Association on campus, sent out a mass email to its members informing them of three different organizations to which Kasamahan supports as reliable contributors to the restoration of the Philippines after Typhoon Ondoy. Members of Kasamahan also spent the evening of Thursday, October 1 participating in Late Nights @ Crossroads to both perform and inform the audience of how they may help by donating money, clothes, and food that Kasamahan would send in boxes to the Philippines. For more information on Kasamahan’s relief effort, please visit Kasamahan’s Website and click on the “Typhoon Ondoy Help” link under “Navigation”.

USF Greeks have also began helping the cause. Gamma Gamma Gamma Nursing Sorority has begun accepting donations, similarly to Kasamahan’s goal to send boxes of goods to the Philippines. For more information, you can contact the sisters at trigamma@usfca.edu. Chi Upsilon Zeta Fraternity has also begun internally accepting donations from its members and are creating a fund for donations that can be designated for relief towards the Philippines, as well as the other Asian countries that are getting struck by natural disasters. For information on this, you can contact the brothers at xyzalpha@usfca.edu.

While there are many venues in which one can help those affected in the Philippines, I must say I’m proud that the students of the University of San Francisco are living out its mission of “Educating Minds and Hearts to Change the World”.

-Arnie Salazar



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