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A boy gathers salvageable materials from the ruins of houses after Super Typhoon Haiyan battered Tacloban, Philippines. (CNS/Reuters)
Jesuits Appeal for Assistance for Victims of Typhoon Haiyan

Super Typhoon Haiyan, which struck the Philippines on Nov. 8, has left central parts of the country devastated with untold dead and millions without access to food, water, shelter, and other basic necessities.

For those who want to help victims of Typhoon Haiyan, the New York-based Philippine Jesuit Foundation is accepting donations online. Father Victor Salanga, S.J., who works at the foundation, said the response has been very inspiring.

"On Tuesday, there was a woman who called from Nevada to ask for details about donating. She explained her parish would be holding a prayer session and would pass around a collection box. This is the kind of response we've been receiving," he said.

The funds collected by the Philippine Jesuit Foundation will go directly to the Jesuits' social justice organization in the Philippines, known as the SLB, which includes Jesuits, other religious and lay people. "Right now the SLB is putting together relief packages for victims that will be brought to them as soon as transportation is available," Fr. Salanga explained.

Fr. Salanga has also spoken with a Jesuit in the Philippines who said the SLB may try to expand its relief efforts beyond Tacloban, one of the hardest-hit cities in the country. "The media isn't as focused on places such as Samar, the northern part of Cebu and Culion, the former leprosy colony, because they weren't hit as hard by the typhoon. These areas aren't receiving as much attention, so we are considering going there, as well."

Brother James Lee, S.J., head of the SLB, explained the logistics of working to get the aid to victims. He said that the Jesuit organization will first make contact with either a non-governmental agency or a local parish to work out the logistics of moving goods to an area.

"We'll work together," said Br. Lee. "We'll communicate how to distribute and make sure it will be very orderly and very peaceful also."

In addition to donating to the Philippine Jesuit Foundation, contributions may be made by mailing a check to the Philippine Jesuit Foundation, P.O. Box 312, New York, N.Y. 10028. For questions, please call Fr. Salanga at (646) 370-1526. [Sources:Philippine Province Jesuits, Catholic News Service]





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