Guam organizations rally to raise relief funding for Philippines - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Guam organizations rally to raise relief funding for Philippines

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by Ken Quintanilla

Guam - Disaster relief efforts continue on Guam to help the victims of Supertyphoon Yolanda in the Philippines. And the Calvo Administration has now stepped in asking our island community to not only open our hearts but our wallets to aid our brothers and sisters in the region.

"Our friends and family in the Philippines are suffering a lot and the people of Guam cares for them and we're going to be there for them," said Ray Tenorio. And with that, Guam's acting governor along with the Filipino Community of Guam and several partners joined together this morning to launch Operation Guam Cares - the Government of Guam's disaster relief effort to assist victims of Supertyphoon Yolanda. Tenorio has since called on every GovGuam employee to assist in making a donation in some form or another.

"Let's face it," Tenorio stated, "the Filipinos have touched every life, every village, every business in this community, so we're asking the employees to do the same thing."

Filipino Community of Guam president Roy Adonay says the island community has been very receptive with assistance, noting, "We are focusing primarily on the medical needs of the community in there because we know for the fact that the medical needs is actually going to be in a long term basis there."

Part of addressing those medical needs comes through partnerships with entities such as MedShare and the Ayuda Foundation. Executive director Carlotta Leon Guerrero said, "MedShare is where we get 40-foot containers of medical supplies and equipment and the receiving hospital opens up an inventory and everything that goes into that container is what the hospital picked."

She adds the group is aiding in getting medicine on the ground which includes providing interagency emergency humanitarian kits that provides medicine for 10,000 people for 30 days and from medical supplies to finding family members. American Red Cross executive director Chita Blaise says its family tracing services has been activated as four of its communication specialists have hit the ground in Tacloban. "And we have been successful in getting them connected with their families and that's very good," he said.

Blaise adds the international Red Cross movement has already made available a half-million dollars for relief efforts. But it's not just the civic and governmental organizations chipping in, so are private businesses such as Calvo Enterprises and Guam Cleaning Masters on hand today to give their support.

Calvo's Insurance Vice President Paul A. Calvo said, "We knew we needed to huddle together and we saw what method we can to help and on Saturday we made that pledge that we're going to donate $25,000 toward that effort." And Alex Thomas added, "Guam Cleaning Masters this year are getting ready to cancel our Christmas party to donate that money to the people of Philippines, those who got affected, we're going to be donating $10,000."

The Guam Regional Medical City further noted they would be donating $50,000 matched by the local community. Philippine Consul Edgar Auxilian expressed his gratitude, saying, "Thank you - I must say is not really enough to convey our appreciation and gratitude to all of you." 

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