No help is too small, as proven by children here and abroad who chose to lend a helping hand.
Children have reached out to Filipinos in areas hardest hit by Yolanda, many of them offering support straight out of their pockets.
Artist-activist Mae Paner on Thursday shared a letter she received from Anton, her friend’s nine-year-old son, asking her to hand almost P1,000 to victims of typhoon Yolanda.
“I am sharing my allowance saving to the victims of typhoon Yolanda. Please hand my money to them so they do not need to suffer in evacuation centers,” Anton said.
“I want them to stop stealing and be peaceful again,” the boy said further, alluding to reports that some of the survivors have resorted to looting after days without food.
In Qatar, meanwhile, a girl named Lana, who is cared for by a Filipina nanny, has given up her allowance and asked her classmates do the same for Yolanda victims.
“Bago siya pumasok sa school kanina tinanong niya ako, ‘Ya Jo how much my one riyal in the Philippines?’” Jovelyn Revilla shared in her Facebook post.
When she told her ward that her riyal would translate to P11 or P12, Revilla said Lana’s face lit up and said, “Oh my god! The children can buy food in my one riyal?”
“Give to the kids that I saw crying in the news, Ya Jo… I will tell my classmate to give one riyal for you to send to the Philippines,” Revilla recalled Lana as saying.
In Japan, Shoichi Kondoh, 6, gave 5,000 Japanese yen from his own piggybank savings to the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo to be given to typhoon victims.
Shoichi, the youngest cash donor from Japan, dropped by with his mother at the Embassy, where his donation was received by Consul Bryan Dexter Lao.
The boy “did not think twice about giving away his childhood savings for the benefit of the victims of super typhoon ‘Yolanda’ after watching the devastation on television,” the embassy said in a statement.
Millions have been rendered homeless after Yolanda ravaged the Visayas. The death toll also continues to rise as rescuers reach far-flung areas. It is feared to top 10,000.
Foreign governments and development organizations have rushed to the Philippines’ aid, many pledging financial support or donations in kind and sending aid workers.
But the government has recently drawn flak, for the seemingly slow pace of the relief operations. Groups including the UN have urged improved state coordination.