Today was the day we go back to school after classes got called off last Friday due to Typhoon Yolanda (international name: Haiyan). I was ready to go to class and talk about how we can help even though we’re islands and islands away from the heart of the tragedy. I was met, however, by friends who got me that Starbucks tea tumbler I wanted (they bought it for me right under my nose last week) and by my advisees bearing flowers and chocolates as belated birthday gifts. I said my thanks to God for being blessed with wonderful people surrounding me and resolve to pay it forward.

Fast forward to homeroom period. I discussed how the school was accepting monetary donations and not in kind. The kids were surprised because we had done donation drives before and they were usually with goods. I explained that it was easier and faster for the school (being so far away) to collect money and send it to our affiliates in the areas that were hit so that they could be the ones to buy the relief goods needed by the people.

The donation drive asked help from the parents mainly, but I was thinking the class could also come up with our own cash donations. I am reminded of the Call of Duty campaign/donation drive back in the San Juan campus where each class was given a can and students put in whatever change they could for the day. I was thinking we could probably do that. Before I could tell them that idea or process their feelings on the whole tragedy, though, homeroom period was over.

There are other periods to discuss these, but at that moment, it was enough that the kids knew at least one way they could help.

Manuel L. Quezon III has compiled updates and ways to help on his website.

To get updates on Twitter, follow the hashtags #ReliefPH (how to help) #RescuePH  (who needs rescuing) #YolandaPH (all things related to the typhoon).


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