The typhoon that struck the Philippines recently killed thousands, wiped out whole villages and infrastructures and left survivors without sufficient food, water, housing, medical assistance and many other basic necessities. Thousands more are at risk because of the dire conditions.
Baylor is blessed with a number of nurses who were recruited here from the Philippines during a nursing shortage in the United States.
As the news emerged from the devastated country, our Philippine family learned about the terrible damage sustained in their homeland and the personal loss of family and friends.
Sadly, we learned that one of our nurses lost 11 family members during the storm.
Elsia Tio, an administrative supervisor in nursing administration, is from a secluded and rural area of the country. Many from her community lost their homes to the typhoon and are without means to purchase food.
Generous Baylor co-workers contributed money to help the people of Elsia’s home town, which hasn’t benefited from the mainstream organizations that donate to the larger cities. Elsia and her family have used the donations to purchase food in large quantities and deliver it to the area.
“We were able to feed 110 hungry people,” reports Elsia. “These people either lost their homes or their houses were damaged due to heavy rains and strong winds during the typhoon.”
Townspeople were so grateful that they posted a large sign (above) thanking Baylor for their help.
Josefina “Joy” Cabardo, an OR nurse at Baylor Regional Medical Center at Grapevine, also returned to her home town of San Remigio in the province of Cebu, where her family still resides.
She’s there not only to support her family, but also to offer her nursing skills wherever they are needed.
Conditions aren’t easy, but Joy and a small group of her colleagues are doing what they can.
When possible, she communicates with her Baylor family via email.
“There’s no electricity in our town until now,” she writes.
“I’m in the city right now but I’ll be going back to my parents’ place tomorrow and I’ll be traveling back and forth…In the grace of God, my parents are okay.
I’ve been doing relief operations in coordination with my batch mates in college. We’re a very small group, but we’re giving what we can.”
Recently, Faith In Action Initiatives sent 20 giant gondolas of hygiene supplies donated by Baylor staff to the Philippine Baptist conventions located in the areas of greatest need. The Baylor Health Care System Foundation has been collecting monetary donations that will also go directly to those most in need of help.
Thanks to all of you for your donations and prayers in support of our extended family in the Philippines. If you’re interested in contributing to help Typhoon Haiyan survivors, here are some charities and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) responding to the disaster.