Stanbridge College Students Support Medical Aid to Philippines and Raise $10,196 for Typhoon Haiyan Relief

In November, Stanbridge College students, staff, and faculty took immediate action to help disaster relief efforts for the victims of the Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines by raising over $10,196. The funds were donated to ShelterBox and Doctors Without Boarders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), two humanitarian organizations committed to providing the basic needs of shelter, food, water, and medical attention to those in need. Several student groups in the Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) and Physical Therapist Assistant programs took the initiative to raise funds in a variety of fundraisers on campus, while the entire student body and staff came together to participate in a two-week fundraiser to support the devastating event.

According to Loni Klein, current Occupational Therapy Assistant student, “We wanted to be a part of Stanbridge’s effort to raise money for the Typhoon Haiyan Relief. So we gathered the best bakers we could find to make treats to sell on campus. Our whole class got in the spirit of baking for a good cause! Students and staff were all so generous, buying multiple sweets to share with others. We are very happy with the support from Stanbridge’s students and staff, and so grateful to have been able to raise money to help Typhoon Haiyan Relief as best we can.”

With winds of 195 mph and gusts up to 235 mph, Super Typhoon Haiyan, the deadliest Philippine typhoon on record, struck on November 7, 2013. A few days later, the National Disaster and Risk Reduction Management Council said nearly 10 million people and 28,000 homes in nearly half of the Southeast Asian country were affected. Currently, over 5,000 people have lost their lives and over 23,000 were injured and in need of medical attention. Lack of food and water has lead to looting and lawlessness while millions are just beginning to cope with the devastation.

Stanbridge College chose to support ShelterBox and the 1999 Nobel Peace Prize Recipient, Doctors Without Borders because of their consistent support and immediate action for those in need. ShelterBox is a premier international aid organization that provides emergency shelter and life-saving equipment following disasters. Originally responding to a 7.2-magnitude earthquake in the Philippines that hit in October, ShelterBox was already working in the Philippines when the typhoon approached. ShelterBox is currently focusing on sheltering survivors in three of the badly affected regions, including Tacloban, Cebu, and Bohol with supplies including a tent and life-saving equipment to use while they are displaced or homeless. So far they have distributed over 3,000 tents and supply boxes across the Philippines.

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international medical humanitarian organization, providing medical care for over 130,000 people. In response to Haiyan, MSF emergency teams including medical personnel, logisticians, and psychologists were on-site assessing the damage and needs of the survivors and wounded within 24 hours of the disaster. MSF sent 329 tonnes of medical and relief items, and is currently setting up inflatable hospitals in areas where as many as 15 were destroyed. The humanitarian cargo includes medical kits for treating wounded, material for medical consultations, tetanus vaccines, and relief items such as tents and hygiene kits. In 1999, MSF was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their medical relief efforts in over 80 countries.

This is the second large-scale fundraiser in which Stanbridge College has supported ShelterBox and MSF. In 2011, the technical college raised over $2,636 for ShelterBox to its Japan Relief Project to aid disaster relief for the victims of the Japanese tsunami and earthquake. In 2012, students, staff, and faculty raised $1,250 to support MSF‘s efforts for the victims of famine, drought, and political issues in Somalia. Global aid and support is just one of the many initiatives Stanbridge College takes in its community service. Through REACH-Beyond the Classroom, students are encouraged every month to give back to their local and global communities.

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