Friday, January 28, 2011

My Trip II: More on Volunteer work

Before I go on with posting pictures of the next few days, I want to share this video I took. We spent many hours throughout several days volunteering at a nearby donations distribution center. Both Army and Air Force were present in the area helping the rescue and distribution effort. The video shows my brother being part of an unloading line--truck after truck arrived with donations from the region and they unloaded like that. My brother is the one in the red shirt on the foreground. What was beautiful was to see everyone working together for a common goal, independent of where we came from. We met people there who decided to come spend their vacation volunteering. I have never seen so much common effort, so much donated goods, so much food in one place.

Here is one article on the disaster.

This next picture shows the pile of "cestas basicas" (basic baskets)--we grouped the incoming food into family basics for a week: 5 kg of rice, 2 kg of beans and sugar each, flour, cornmeal, salt, pasta, cookies, etc. There were also other grouped "kits": personal hygiene kits, baby kits (diapers, wipes etc), cleaning supplies kits. Each day we went we worked at a different kit-grouping effort made from incoming donations. Along with these these donated kits, every parish was providing fresh daily meals, cooked at church and trucked to shelters. The local TV was there daily and the whole effort was truly well-organized. Army trucks would load the goods and take them to the disasters' shelters. I loved seeing the city and Church working together.

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