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Interview: Philippines Strong Typhoon Relief

0 - Published November 14, 2013 by in International

You may have seen photos, or heard how Typhoon Yolanda has hit the Philippines extremely hard. It was a massive storm, and did untold damage to the island nation. The Philippines Lacrosse Association, a group of mainly American born lacrosse players of Filipino descent, hoping to help the sport take off in their home country, is now getting involved to help out. We spoke with Ron Garcia of the PLA to get more information on what they are doing, and how you can help out.

The Philippines has been hit hard by Yolanda, what is the PLA doing to help out with the relief effort?

The Philippines Lacrosse Association is helping out with the relief effort in the Philippines by collecting donations to assist in aide and restoration of the areas devastated by Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda. We have partnered with Pastor Gary Visitacion, National director of FCA Philippines and FCA Philippines to collect donations for the “Project: HELP PHILIPPINES” Fund.

Prior to the typhoon, the PLA and FCA Philippines were working together to together to develop and grow lacrosse in the Philippines. Since the tyhpoon, we have focused efforts on helping to provide relief. We are reaching out to the lacrosse community as another potential resource to help with relief efforts in Philippines. We have also partnered 14 Graphics and the Grow Texas Lacrosse Tour to produce a “Philippines Strong” t-shirt with all proceeds going to the “Project: HELP PHILIPPINES” Fund.

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Currently, we have two ways to donate: You can make a direct financial donation at: “Project: HELP PHILIPPINES” Fund, and/or you can click here to purchase a tshirt to support the relief efforts. We’ve also reached out to our dedicated partners to help with monetary donations through sales of their product. We hope to announce more ways to give and get involved soon.

How can people in the lacrosse community best help the people of the Philippines?

The Philippines needs money, not teddy bears, clothing, or food donations, etc. Currently, the ability for the people in the areas most affected by the devastation to receive these items is not efficient, or in some cases, even possible. Every day that goes by, more and more survivors are suffering due to lack of food, water, and medicine. We feel that the best way to have the greatest immediate impact is with financial donations.

Organizations like FCA Philippines know how things work there and can help aid the typhoon victims more effectively. Getting food, water, and medicine to the typhoon victims is paramount. We feel that making monetary donations, through our contacts with FCA Philippines is the best route. Also, purchasing a “Philippines Strong” t-shirt and helping us to spread the word will assist in continued efforts towards Typhoon Relief.

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What is the meaning behind the phrase Philippines Strong?

We feel it represents Strength through Adversity. Also the Strong: the strong connection between Filipinos all over the world. That is the nature of our culture,we are a resilient people and come together through strength.

Is there a plan for how the PLA can stay involved, and keep the relief effort going?

Yes, through our existing partnership with FCA Philippines to grow Lacrosse in the Philippines. We plan on making it an ongoing project.

Will any PLA members travel to the Philippines to help out in future relief efforts?

Yes, Justin Manjares and I were just in the Philippines this past September and we are planning to go back in January, pending funding. We’ll be working with FCA Philippines to continue our support, which means whoever travels with us will be part of any rebuilding, while teaching lacrosse.

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Does this impact your plans for lacrosse in the Philippines?

Absolutely Not! We are saddened by the loss, but also feel that this is a great opportunity for the PLA to show our heritage country that we care deeply, and are here to help. Our trip to the Philippines this past September to introduce lacrosse was a huge success. We felt so welcomed, and a such a big part of the community in the Philippines . We were also able to forge great relationships with the schools, coaches, and communities, as well as with organizations such as Philippine Olympic Committtee and Philippine Sports Commission.

We feel that our continued presence in the Philippines through the development and growth of lacrosse will help the affected Filipino communities with a sense of pride and belonging. But the most important thing right now is supporting the people of the Philippines with donations, so please do what you can!

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