"Help the Sorias Finish Their Home"

June 9, 2014

Hi, everyone. Thanks to all your contributions, we passed the $4800 mark and, while that was almost halfway to our original goal of $10,000, the Sorias re-evaluated what it will take to finish out the house and we are reducing the goal to $7,500!!!

When we did the original estimate to rebuild and repair, we included a new kitchen stove and counter-tops. The family indicated they would be fine without those and would save up.

Work remaining includes:
* replacing the interior walls;
* replacing windows damaged in the earthquake;
* some detail work.

Please help as you can. I know times have been tough and I am amazed at all your generosity in helping this family get back on its feet.

Love and light, John

May 10, 2014

Hi, everyone. Thanks to all your contributions, we passed the $4400 mark this week, almost halfway to our goal of $10,000. We don't have quite enough funds to finish the floors in the house but we are close.

Due to the passing of Grandfather Soria, work was suspended for the customary 40 days of mourning. Now, however, work can continue so please help us finish this project and get these wonderful folks back into a liveable house.

Work remaining includes:
     * finishing pouring the new floors;
     * replacing the interior walls;
     * replacing windows damaged in the earthqualke;
     * installing cold water plumbing in the house;
     * checking, repairing and replacing electrical wiring;
     * finishing out the kitchen; and
     * all the detail work to finish the job

$3,695 of the $10k needed...

April 8, 2014

We are a bit more than $6K short of our $10K goal to help the Sorias rebuild their home. In my latest update, I listed some of the items your contributions buy. Remember $1 US dollar buys a lot more in the Philippines than it does here.

March 27, 2014

Because of your generous contributions, we are one-third of the way into our goal to raise the $10,000 we need to finish rebuilding the Sorias' home on Bohol in the Philippines.

Portion of rebuilt exterior wall waiting for a replacement window

The exterior walls have been repaired and a new roof is in place over the kitchen area. While that dries in the house, there is so much more work to be done.

Pouring concrete floors throughout takes the top of the list and will prevent flooding in the house, a common occurance because the floors are level with the outside grade. In addition, the house has dirt floors with the exception of the small living area. In order to pour new floors, the interior walls must be taken out and replaced.

In rebuilding the kitchen and exterior walls, there was enough leftover cement, sand and gravel to pour concrete in half the kitchen so at least one part of the interior is safe from flooding. All seven family members now sleep on paletes on the new floor.

The new roof over the kitchen area

This is a list of the work in order of importance for which we still need funding:

Pour concrete floors throughout the house.
Replace interior walls and install doors for privacy.
Replace two exterior doors.
Install windows with screens to prevent rain and insects from coming in.
Inspect and replace the electrical as needed.
Plaster the interior cinder block walls and install gypsum board on the unfinished framed walls.
Install interior cold water plumbing for the kitchen, shower and toilet.
Build simple counters and shelving in the kitchen.

If we have any money after we finish that list, I would like to have platforms built in each bedroom and purchase mattresses for the family. They have slept on paletes for years.

While not critical, the family would like to have ceilings installed in the bedrooms and toilet. The house has never had ceilings.

Below is the Sorias' back story / 

January 27, 2014

On October 15 last year, the Soria family, my long-time friends, lost their home on Bohol in the Philippines when a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck the island, leaving them and more than 70,000 other families with severely damaged or destroyed homes. Three weeks later, Typhoon Haiyan hit the region and disrupted most relief efforts on Bohol just when those efforts were getting underway.

Rebuilding an exterior wall that collapsed

At this point, the Sorias cannot rebuild due to lack of funds and no help from the Philippine government. They reached out to me to ask if I would help raise the modest funds they need to rebuild their home. Modest is my word. To them, the $10,000 it will take to rebuild is a fortune. The family of seven, like so many in the Philippines, gets by on less than $3000 a year so $10,000 seems an impossible amount to them.

Were I in a better financial position, I would gladly give them the money. However, the best I can do is ask all of you, my friends, to donate what you can to help them and to ask you to pass this on to your friends so we can get them back into a safe, dry home.

Just remember, the magic is in the numbers. If 1000 people donate $10 each, that covers the goal. Here in San Francisco, going out to dinner once costs more than $10. Think about it. Let's help this family rebuild and show them we never turn our backs on those in need.

The back wall that enclosed three bedrooms collapsed and destabilized the interior walls so the family can no long use those rooms.

Damage to the house was so severe, the family moved everyone to the small living room to sleep since one of the outside walls collapsed and some of the interior bedroom walls cracked and are unstable. Six of the seven family members sleep in the living room.

The kitchen area was heavily damaged during the earthquake. The kitchen roof was severely damaged, the floor cracked and a wall collapsed during the quake.

The family cooks over an open fire in the kitchen. They cannot put in a new range until the kitchen roof, floor and walls are repaired.

Looking into the bathroom area where the roof is severely damaged. Walls are not stable.

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John Ater 
San Francisco, CA
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