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Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) Relief Efforts – A Guide (by Mark Florido, APIKC Pegion 2 Rep)


Many of us, our students, and our colleagues have been affected by the devastating typhoon that swept across the Philippines. This brief guide is meant to aid individuals and schools determine the best course of action to assist with the recover and relief efforts taking place in the Philippines. This is not meant to be a comprehensive manual; there are many ways to get involved and to send aid.



After speaking to a number of relief work agencies both in the US and in the Philippines. At this point, monetary donations seem to be what will provide the most impact at this moment. Shipping costs may end up not being cost-efficient for both you and any organization you are donating to. Nonetheless, I’ve compiled a list of items that are priority need.

Parts of Region 2 have large Filipino and Filipino-American populations. As such, there are many Filipino and Filipino-American community organizations that have ties to the Philippines. It is best to do a quick google search for such organizations to see if they are collecting donations to send back to the Philippines. Also, many Filipino grocery stores may be raising funds or collecting donations as well.

Donations That Are Priority:

  • Medicine and First Aid Kits – Survivors are in desperate need of basic medications (think robitussin, Tylenol, benedryl) and medicine to treat basic wounds.
  • Candles and Matches – Electricity is down so lighting is non-existent. These can also be used to start fires necessary for warmth and cooking.
  • Flashlights – Again, electricity is down. There is high demand for solar powered or crank flashlights (those that don’t require batteries)
  • Batteries – It is reported that the area in which the typhoon hit can be without power for up to two months.

Donations That Are NOT Priority At This Moment:

  • Food that Requires Water – This includes rice, noodles and many instant foods. Also try to send canned goods that don’t require a can opener (can’s with the pop tops)
  • Clothes – This is simply not a high priority item.
  • Toys, Stuffed Animals, Games, etc. – While it may seem like a heartwarming gesture, these sorts of donations tend to clog up donation sorting and will probably not be handed out in the near future as they are non-essential items.

 NOTE: If you do choose to collect donatable items, please sort and clearly label your donations. This will help organizations distribute your donations.

Where To Send In-Kind Donations 

US Based: Your best bet is to donate to the American Red Cross. Some chapters of  the American Red Cross are accepting In-Kind donations in bulk. Contact your local chapter to see if this is the case.

Philippines Based: There are a number of organizations based in the Philippines that are accepting In-Kind donations. For the most part, you will need to organize (and pay for) shipment to these organizations yourself. Some organizations to check out:


The following is a small listing of charitable organizations that are asking for donations to help directly with disaster relief work.

National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON)
What They Are Doing: At this time, NAFCON will assist in the direct transfer of MONETARY donations. Your donation will be sent directly to Bayanihan Alay sa Sambayanan or BALSA (People’s Cooperation for the People), a national grassroots relief and rehabilitation organization composed of broad church-based organizations, schools, disaster response NGOs, and individuals, working with victims of disasters in the Philippines

American Red Cross / Philippine Red Cross /
What They Are Doing: The Red Cross is using monetary donations to help with their family reunification system and their general disaster relief efforts, which includes sending food and medicine.

World Food Program
What They Are Doing: Working with our partners, WFP is mobilising quickly to reach those in need with High Energy Biscuits – helping ensure families and children have nutritious food in these first few days of the emergency. We need your help. For every $100 you give, WFP can provide 1,000 packs of biscuits.

What They Are Doing:  The UNICEF Branch in the Philippines is working is directing donations to helping provide drinkable water, medical supplies, food and shelter to survivors.

For additional charitable organizations, check out the following lists compiled by different news sources
New York Times
Huffington Post

For Those In The New York/New Jersey Area

There are large populations of Filipinos and Filipino-Americans in the New York/New Jersey area. As such, there are many community run fundraisers and relief work action that is happening. For a listing of some of these events, check out this facebook page that is continuously being updated with more events.


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