Desserts for Disaster Relief – benefiting the victims of Typhoon Haiyan through the 24 Foundation
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On November 7th, 2013, the Philippines experienced a typhoon that has been marked as one of the most powerful storms on record. Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) damaged the central Philippines, displacing millions of people. Unicef estimates that 1.7 million children are among the 4.4 million displaced. Reading about how a parent’s children were torn from their arms and were later found dead, and several other stories similar to that just brought tears to my eyes.
Thankfully, my relatives in the Philippines are ok, but the typhoon has affected the entire country. In the Filipino culture, we call our parent’s friends “Auntie” and “Uncle”. Not really a sign of respect as much as it is a sign of family. I used to laugh when I was younger when my mom could talk to a Filipino she’s never met before as if she had known them her whole life. As a mom and an adult, I find myself doing the same thing.
I wanted to do something to help with this relief effort. When I first found out about the disaster, I found a link on mashable on ways to help the victims of the typhoon. I donated to Catholic Relief Services, but still wanted to do more. One friend started an online telecast on YouTube, and others were donating a portion of their products or services that they sell.
I got in touch with my former colleague and Filipino friend, Christine Apa, who founded a local 501(c)3 foundation, The 24 Foundation, which uses the arts as a healing tool for people that have been through traumatic experiences. Her foundation responded to the Tsunami disaster in Japan in 2011 by leading a disaster relief team to help rebuild and is planning on doing the same in the Philippines. I thought this was the perfect foundation to raise money for, and decided I would host a holiday party with vendors for shopping, and a raffle at the bakery of my friend Melissa (who I met through a mommy group), Essential Chocolate Desserts. We already had playdates there with our kids and other local mom’s kids for “Brownies and Babies”, so I thought it was the perfect venue and way for our network of friends to get together while helping abroad.
I found a vendor and new friend, Nelma, who is a rep for Origami Owl, through one of my mommy groups. She gave me great advice and shared her experience about events she has attended and hosted. From there, just talking to people and posting things here and there, this event is coming together and I am very excited about it! Not only am I getting to know my town by talking to the people who contribute to it, but I’m making new friends along the way, all for a great cause!