United Methodists have been working to get emergency supplies to families affected Typhoon Ketsana in the Philippines. “With the limited supplies we had on hand, we were able to supply immediate relief to about 500 families,” reported Melissa Crutchfield, the executive in charge of international disaster response for the United Methodist Committee on Relief.
Volunteers are preparing supplies at UMCOR’s Philippines Office, located on the campus of Union Theological Seminary in Cavite, about 50 miles south of Manila. They are assembling packets of rice, sardines, coffee, oil, sugar, and special items for women and children to distribute in evacuation centers. Some blankets also were available for flood victims.
Church members in the United Methodist Manila Episcopal Area are collecting supplies as well, Crutchfield noted.
Nearly 2 million people in the Manila area were affected by the flooding from the late September storm, which at one point left most of the capital city under water and resulted in the deaths of nearly 300 people in the Philippines.
A second storm, Typhoon Parma, was heading toward the Philippines on Oct. 2. “I think people are bracing themselves for the new storm this weekend,” Crutchfield said. “We’re keeping a close eye on it.”
Representatives of UMCOR, Christian Aid and the National Council of Churches in the Philippines met Oct. 1 to discuss how to handle relief work. The trio will appeal to Action by Churches Together International for funding, she added.
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Map courtesy of Wikipedia.