Helping Hands Volunteers, LDSC Send Help to Naga Landslide Evacuees in Cebu

News Release

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Church of Jesus Christ) believe that to serve God is to serve others. That is why whenever opportunities arise, many Latter-day Saints don't hesitate to rise to the occasion. 

After a deadly landslide struck Naga City, Mayor Kristine Chiong sought additional help from the Church. Latter-day Saints Charities (LDSC) and Helping Hands volunteers did not delay in their response. They organized a relief operation to donate a truckload of hygiene products, sleeping mats, and blankets to the survivors and evacuees. 

 

Two counselors of the Church's Talisay Stake (Diocese) Presidency, President Jerome Posadas and President Eric Badana, led the group of over 50 members and missionaries from different congregations in Cebu in the relief efforts. Donned in their yellow Helping Hands vests, member volunteers devoted 600 man-hours to repack and distribute 500 hygiene and sleeping kits.

“This is my only way of helping because I have no materials to give,” said 65-year-old Emelita Madaya, the oldest among the volunteers.

Iza Hannah Badana, a 4-year-old volunteer, did not shy away from the task as well. When asked why she was there, her reason was “because I love them.”

A representative from the Naga City Hall was present during the distribution to instruct volunteers what evacuation centers to prioritize.

Helping Hands volunteers distributed kits in evacuation centers based on the number of evacuees. Evacuation sites in San Fernando received 63 kits and Cabungahan received 33 kits. Meanwhile, the evacuees in Langtad received 180 kits, and the evacuees in Apo received 94 kits. The survivors who settled at the Cepoc evacuation center received 33 kits. Evacuees who sought shelter in the Church's Naga meetinghouse (chapel) received 46 kits. 

After the relief operations, Latter-day Saints from the Naga and Talisay Stakes held a Family Home Evening (FHE) activity with the 19 families who evacuated to the Naga Chapel. Elder Taniela B. Wakolo, a member of the Church's Philippines Area Presidency, presided over the event. Talisay Stake President Rabin S. Redulla and Cebu Mission President Abenir V. Pajaro were also present in the FHE activity.

The FHE program included a short lesson about the principle of eternal families and a talent show that members showcased for their new friends. They also played games and shared a simple dinner together.

The landslide in Naga, Cebu affected twenty-four houses, which resulted in injuries, displacements of families, and casualties.  Nineteen families, including two Latter-day Saint families, sought temporary shelter in the Naga meetinghouse. The local Church leaders welcomed them and installed 10 cubicle showers for their convenience. 

LDSC is the humanitarian arm of the Church of Jesus Christ. Their core purpose is to relieve suffering, foster self-reliance in the long term, and provide service opportunities for people of all religions and nationalities. 

Helping Hands volunteers is a program of the Church to bring together members and friends to provide community service, particularly people affected by natural disasters and emergencies. 

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