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Sisters and friends help typhoon victims

Submitted by: hery
On: 02/10/2009

Good Shepherd Sisters and friends respond to the needs of typhoon victims whose homes and other belongings were destroyed during the recent typhoon Ondoy that hit various cities and provinces in the Philippines last Saturday, September 26. 

Continuous rains that started September 25 and continued the next day were said to have poured what could have been a month’s rain in just six hours. Heavy rains caused by Typhoon Ondoy triggered floods and swelling of rivers that made roads impassable and kept people stranded for hours. 

Thousands of houses were destroyed and belongings washed away by heavy currents. Many people were left with just the clothes they were wearing as they tried to move to safety. Many stayed on rooftops as they waited for those who could rescue them. 

During the Sunday Mass, Sr. Patricia Perez RGS announced to the those gathered to prepare the goods that may be distributed to the victims. Coordinators and sisters from the various Good Shepherd communities prepared bags of goods that included, bread, canned goods, bottled water, soap, toothpaste, tooth brush and some clothes and blankets. Girls in the residences also helped pack the goods and so did several sisters in the infirmary. 

Each community has its own fund to respond to crisis (Tugon sa Crisis) and to help pool resources with the other communities in the province to reach out to the poor during times of  floods, fire, and other calamities. 

Sr. Ailyn Binco, a social worker by profession, and who has responded to similar crisis in other Good Shepherd Communities, facilitated the relief work and coordinated with various leaders in the parish and in the nearby areas regarding distribution of goods. 

St. Bridget School in Quezon City opened its doors to students and their families whose houses were destroyed by the floods. Sr. Catalina Santos, principal of SBS, said that the canteen staff prepared cooked food that were distributed in the Marikina area, near the school. Several teachers and staff were also temporarily housed in the school’s classrooms until they were picked up by their relatives. Classes were suspended for a week. 

In Heart of Mary Villa, the residence for unwed mothers, the young women stayed on the second floor of the building as the waters started to rise. In the nearby nursery, the staff moved the babies to the second floor of their building. The whole area, including the convent, was submerged in water.  

Sr. Susan Montano, coordinator of Heart of Mary Villa, who was visiiting a sick sister was stranded in Quezon City. Since she could not go back to the Villa, she became the contact person as she tried to reach for the benefactors and local government leaders to help ensure the safety of  girls in the residence and the babies in the nursery. 

Another community that was affected by the flood was Welcome House. 

Sr. Cecilia Torres, province leader, received communications from sisters from various parts of the world, assuring her and the province of their prayers and assistance for the people. She, along with several sisters from the Provincialate joined the sisters as they also visited sisters’ families who were likewise affected by the floods.  Benefactors and generous people continue to give donations in kind and cash to help the relief operations.



1. regina