Two Washburn students, Connor England; a sophomore economics and communications major, and Matt Lee; a junior political science major, teamed together to help organize the Washburn Philippine Relief Effort.
After hearing about the tragic Typhoon Haiyan, which occurred in the Philippines last week, Lee and England wanted to get in contact with different organizations on campus to help raise awareness about the disaster.
“A crisis of this size is unprecedented, and we’re still finding out the extent of the damage,” said England. “There was so little being done in a place that needs so much, so Matt Lee and I decided to quickly organize everyone we could to give those who desperately need help everything we could.”
The typhoon struck the Philippines earlier this November killing thousands and leaving more than 4.4 million children without shelter, clean water, medicine and nutrition. It is one of the strongest storms to ever hit landfall, causing more damage than Hurricane Katrina.
Lee and England contacted the Red Cross to find out exactly what needed to be done to help with the disaster reliefs. They then made the necessary calls to spread awareness and get the word out.
“It [the process] was very on-the-fly and we are happy for the success,” said Lee. “It’s been very surreal. We are busier than we know what to deal with [sic] and we prefer it that way. The community and social involvement has been more than we could hope for.”
The two students, as well as other organizations, tabled in the union to let students know the extent of the situation in the Philippines and encouraged them to donate in any way possible.
“We’ve raised a good chunk of money,” said England. “We’ve also collected truckloads of supplies to send over to various places of need, and the response keeps growing every day.”
To find out how to help or donate canned food items, money, blankets, clothes, toiletries, etc., stop by the Washburn Philippine Relief Effort table in the union today between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.