Supertyphoon Yutu has inspired Guam residents to spring into action, and there hasn't been a shortage of people and organizations giving time, money and relief goods to help out the people of Tinian and Saipan who have been devastated.
On Friday, more stepped up to help, including a wide range of businesses and organizations that have joined the Ayuda Foundation's relief effort, including BankPacific, the United Chinese Association of Guam, Bank of Guam, the Guam Nurses Association, the SDA Clinic, Matson Shipping and others.
The spokesman for Ayuda's effort, Guam Sen. James Espaldon, said Ayuda has received pledges of more than $30,000.
This includes a donation from an Irish relief organization for a reverse-osmosis water purification system.
Over the weekend, donation cans labeled Ayuda Foundation will be distributed at retail locations across the island including all Bank Pacific branches, Cold Stone Creameries, Benson's Hardware, Wendy's and elsewhere.
"What we're hoping for is that after you make your purchase, if you have some change, you put it in the can," said Espaldon. "Whether it's a penny, whether it's a coin, we'd appreciate it."
There are many ways and avenues to help. Here are some of the early starters:
• Bank of Guam has teamed up with the Ayuda Foundation to transport needed medicines and medical supplies for Saipan, Rota and Tinian. Through an agreement with MAP International, a leading nongovernment organization, emergency health kits for 10,000 patients will be sent to the Northern Mariana Islands and will arrive within a week, pending the opening of the CNMI's airport.
• The Mayors' Council of Guam will be collecting relief goods including diapers, toiletries, canned goods, batteries and tools at all 19 mayors' offices. The collection drive starts Monday during regular office hours at each mayor's office.
• GTA wireless, prepaid and landline customers can call and send text messages free of charge through Nov. 9. GTA also is partnering with The Guam Daily Post and will begin accepting donations to support relief efforts in the CNMI. Dropoff boxes will be located at all GTA retail locations through Nov. 16.
• Community First Guam Federal Credit Union will be collecting donations to assist the Sons of Saipan. The group will be filling a 40-foot container with canned goods and supplies to ship to the Northern Marianas. Acceptable donations include, but are not limited to, nonperishable foods, bottled water, toiletries and batteries. Donations will be accepted at any Community First location in Hagåtña, Tamuning, Dededo or Mangilao.
• BankPacific and the Ayuda Foundation have initiated a "We Are All One" relief drive for Saipan and Tinian. They will be releasing more information on the drive in the coming days, according to BankPacific President and board Chairman Philip Flores.
• One Marianas and Sons of Saipan have initiated their Supertyphoon Yutu relief effort and are accepting canned goods, water and gently used clothing. Call (671) 969-1225/6 or email email@example.com.
• The Guam Daily Post will be collecting items for the Marianas Strong Relief Drive. The Post will be accepting the following items: hammers, gloves, tents, flashlights, coolers, batteries, tools, cleaning supplies, mosquito coils, insect repellent, toiletries, adult/baby diapers and wipes. Donations can be dropped off at The Guam Daily Post office along Marine Corps Drive in Tamuning across from Denny's, at any GTA store or at a Guam Fire Department fire station.
• Prutehi Litekyan: Save Ritidian and the Haya Foundation, in partnership with Inetnon Amut Natibu have initiated the Supertyphoon Yutu Relief Drive. They are accepting donations of bottled water, toiletries, jar candles, stove/butane gas, mosquito coils, nonperishables, hand sanitizer, batteries, diapers/wipes and blankets/towels. For more information, call Zita at 727-7717 or Maria at 787-2538.
• The Saipan-based Marianas Young Professionals, through its disaster relief arm United 4 Saipan, has set up a GoFundMe campaign to help cover immediate needs. Check out its GoFundMe page or contact MYPros Executive Director G. Van Gils at firstname.lastname@example.org.