HeCares360 Dinagat Island
More than half a year has passed since Typhoon Odette hit the Philippines, but most of the residents in Dinagat Island, located northeast of Mindanao, are still living in plastic tents and have no electricity. To respond to their needs, a generous Christian living in Texas, who happened to be a native of the said island, sponsored and partnered with GraceDrive to reach them.
Last July 21 & 22, GraceDrive Southern Mindanao team representatives travelled a total of 800 km from Davao to Surigao and back, then rode boats 2 hours back and forth to reach Dinagat Island. With the help of our field support there, including the family of the donor, the team had 2-day relief operations to Barangays Boa and Cagdianao. We distributed food packs to 350 families, as well as clothing and slippers to ladies, and solar lights for 50 households.
It was exciting because of the nature of the operation wherein we got to engage directly with the residents there, hearing their firsthand stories during the calamity. We personally witnessed how the typhoon not only destroyed everything they had invested for years, such as houses and pump boats for fishing, but also how they’ve risen and started all over again despite the lack of aid from the local government. They’ve had very devastating experiences, but what matters most is the will to survive each day. We can say that people there are happy and optimistic despite their situation. The opportunity to serve God through GraceDrive operations like this will always remind us that no matter how little or big our gifts are, to those who are affected, our help means a lot.
By: Mark Anthony Baroro