Leyte is incredibly close to our heart, it's our mother's homeland and still home to the majority of our family in the Philippines. When Typhoon Yolanda hit Leyte, our family in other parts of the Philippines and around the globe, spent 4 agonising days desperately worried about their well-being and the devastation that may have been caused to their homes and surroundings but had no means of communicating with them.
Gradually, through social media and through of long chain of people, we learnt that our hometown Baybay had no reported casualties, but had extensive damage. However, Palo, a coastal town just South of Tacloban and home to our cousin Ricky, his wife Wendy and their four children suffered severe devastation and loss of life. (At the time they had their son Chase-Roy with them, fortunately their 3 daughters were staying with their Grandma (our Tiya) in our family's barangay an hour away). Numbers in Palo alone are reporting hundreds have officially died, whilst many, many more are still missing. Through some kind of miracle, Ricky and family managed to survive, however sadly their home did not.
It's going to take a very long time before each family can rebuild their lives and homes in Leyte, Samar and other Northern parts of the Visayas. Immediate relief of medicines, food, water, blankets, money etc have already been donated by so many of you, and Filipino's across the world are incredibly humbled by the huge international response. However, in the long-term, thousands of families are going to struggle to start anew, from having so little before the storm, to having nothing left afterwards.
Over the next couple of months, we hope to raise some money for our cousin Ricky and family so that they can rebuild their home. Any donation, no matter how small would be hugely appreciated and would make an immense difference. I understand this is one family out of thousands in the area who need help, but at least this way you know your contribution is going directly to them.
When the work begins on rebuilding the home, you will be able to see the progress being made, and then the home in completion.
From all of us in the Lechadores, De Asis, Rutherford and De Veyra Family;
"Maraming Salamat Po"
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