Please help the Philippines

As you may or may not know, this past Saturday, the Philippines got drenched/soaked/flooded by Typhoon Ondoy(Ketsana). There are countless of people who have lost their homes and belongings and even loved ones. It’s been said that the amount of rain they got in 9 hours was more than the total of the rain that came down from Hurricane Katrina. The storm is now on it’s way to Vietnam, but there are 2 other tropical storms looming on the horizon for the Philippines. Cleanup and relief efforts are ongoing, but the threat of another storm could be devastating for the Philippines, yet again.

There are numerous relief efforts going on, locally in the Philippines and worldwide. PLEASE, PLEASE, PRETTY PLEASE w/a cherry on top, DONATE any amount you can to the Philippine National Red Cross. They accept donations in PhP (Philippine Peso) so if you need to know what the conversion rate is, check out this site. For example, right now, $50 USD is equivalent to 2375.90PhP. If you want to donate $50, please enter 2375.90 at the Philippine National Red Cross donation site. Of course, exchange rates fluctuate so please convert often. If you want to see current exchange rates, you can go here.

Thank you and please remember that ANY amount is appreciated.

How this affected us, personally:
pDaddy’s Aunt/cousins live in one of the towns that got hit hard – Pasig. Our little niece had a school play so her mom (pDaddy’s cousin) and grandma (pDaddy’s aunt) were there and couldn’t make it back home for 2 days because of the flood. They were stranded on the second floor of her school with 250 other people. Back home, pDaddy’s other cousin and their maids tried to salvage what they could to the 2nd and 3rd floors, but the water rose to the neck level quickly. All the heavy stuff on the first floor is pretty much gone…couches, furniture in general, piano, china/china cabinet, lost of toys (niece’s room was on the first floor), etc. When the trio at the school finally made it back home, their house was still flooded and the water was muddy in color – from the dirt and backed up sewage system.

My Grandma, who lives in a province about 45 minutes away from the major damage, was rescued by my cousins and uncle…the water at her house was over knee deep and some parts, waist high. Again, almost all the furniture and everything on the first floor is no longer of use…This flooding affected more than just the city center.

Luckily, our loved ones all survived, but there are plenty who are not so fortunate.

Again, please donate what you can…no amount is too small!

TTMOT – Scammers

Today is “Totally Ticks Me Off Tuesday” where you talk rant about something that doesn’t quite tickle your fancy. To see other participants, check out Mommy from the Midwest’s blog.
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What’s ticking me off today? SCAMMERS– especially the ones that take advantage of a tragedy. You’ve seen it happen before. How many illegal accounts/scams were set up after 9/11? All claiming that you should donate your money and they, will in turn, give your donations to the victims? I’m sure the same happened after Hurricane Katrina and the 2004 Tsunami that hit Indonesia and the surrounding areas.

Now, again on the other side of the world, another tragedy happened in the Philippines. For those who aren’t aware, Tropical Storm Ketsana (“Ondoy” to those in the Philippines), turned Typhoon, hit the Philippines last Saturday, 9/26. They got a month’s worth of rainfall in the span of 9 hours. Some stories note that they got more rain in that time than what Hurricane Katrina poured down in the Southeast US. This left the Capital city and it’s surroundings underwater where only rooftops were visible in a lot of places. There are hundreds of thousands displaced from their homes…The death toll is rising and disease is sure to come.

Unfortunately, the onset of a tragedy not only brings people together to help out, but it also brings out the scammers claiming they will give your donations to help those in need, but in reality, they don’t and probably use it for themselves. In this day and age, where it’s so easy to pay for things and donate online, it’s hard to trust anyone. I have been looking online as to where I can donate and the only viable sources I can find are the major TV networks over there that set up accounts and the Philippine National Red Cross. Unfortunately, and yet fortunately, the bandwidth limit exceeded on one of the network donation sites: http://www.abscbnfoundation.org/. I guess that means that a lot of people have donated. The Philippine National Red Cross lists a multitude of ways to donate, but do not have an online system 😦 and FINALLY have an online system! They ask you to donate in PhP (Philippine Peso)…need to convert? This website has a converter!

There are a lot of other sites that look legit, but I don’t know. I don’t want to get scammed. I like this one website, www.philippineaid.com. It’s very up to date, but it’s hard for me to trust a site that uses PayPal. However, PayPal did just freeze their account and are awaiting verification from the Philippine Red Cross.

PLEASE, before you donate check to see if they are legit. There are too many damn scammers in this world!