Keith: Nearly $250 million of international aid has poured into the Philippines after the country was hit by one of the strongest storms ever. But it is not just people outside the country that are helping. Shelby Holliday visited a school in the capital city of Manila to find out what students are doing there.
Shelby: College student Benjamin Eabiona has been collecting and sorting donations for the victims of Super Typhoon Haiyan.
Benjamin Eabiona: The big goal is to help in every little possible way we can.
Shelby: Having lived through typhoons himself, he says it is the least he and his classmates can do.
So you know what it feels like?
Benjamin Eabiona: Yeah, I know what it feels like. I know what it feels like to be evacuated, to live in another house, to be given relief goods. Yeah.
Shelby: So far, students at the University of the Philippines have shipped more than 6,000 care packages full of basic necessities. It is a modest amount compared to the multi-million dollar donations made by countries and aid organizations. But the young people here say it is about much more than physical items.
Bea Mondonedo: In the Philippines, you know, family is a very big thing. And even if you’re not related to them, you feel like they’re family because you are all Filipinos.
Shelby: Donations from around the world have poured into the Philippines after Super Typhoon Haiyan. And while these students in Manila are working hard to pack boxes full of goods, they say one of the most important things they can give is hope. For Benjamin, that means packing words of encouragement in each box.
Benjamin: I’d write a message there. I’d write a bible verse, I’d write a you-can-do-it message and a smiley face. I know that those little things can really help.
Shelby: Across campus, his classmates have launched a social media campaign. Donate money and they will tweet your message of support.
Gia Garcia: So I just wrote, ‘Hang in there and God bless you’ with a heart.
Shelby: Why is it important to send these messages?
Gia: Because even if you were not personally there with them – physically there with them – it just really helps to give them hope and to give them an encouragement.
Bea: We may be giving you cash donations, but we are also with you in spirit and in prayer. And that sometimes when you feel hopeless, just remember that there is a nation rooting for you.
Shelby: Shelby Holliday, Channel One News.
Keith: To find out how you can help the people in the Philippines, visit our Impact page at Channelone.com.