Monday, November 11, 2013

We Heart You, Philippines.

image via
It is so heartbreaking to see the effects of Typhoon Haiyan. When I visited the Philippines over 10 years ago, I was struck by the warmth and happiness of the people.  In an email today, a Filipina friend described the situation with a positive outlook: "Surely we will weather this with hopeful spirits." This devastation, and yet, such hope.  I don't know.  I hope to see people moving forward.  But I also understand that it may be a huge struggle.

If you plan to contribute money toward the relief efforts in the Philippines, I recommend checking out Charity Navigator to make sure your money is being efficiently used toward the services in which you are interested.  It's unfortunate that you have to also be aware of scam organizations that seek to profit from disaster donations.  Charity Navigator provides information and ratings that will help you feel at peace about where your money is going. Here is a link that can get you started in your search for a charity that is a good fit for you.  Also, some companies will match employee donations to charities so check if you have that option!

I wrote a post on Memorial Day that included Charity Navigator as an important tool for determining which organizations to work with in helping families of troops and veterans. The post included several ways to support these military families, including volunteer work and item donations.  Seeing that today is Veterans Day, it seemed nice to revisit the idea of helping our military men and women in need.

PS. When I went on these charity websites, I felt overwhelmed by all the human crises around the world. Yes, there are natural disasters, but in addition to those catastrophes, there are ongoing wars and relief efforts. It's nuts to think about the comforts of my American life.  It kind of makes me feel like an asshole, but it also reminds me to be grateful.

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