Philippines Service Project with the doTERRA Healing Hands Team
On January 12, 2020, the Taal Volcano started spewing ash near Manila, Philippines. This shut down international airports and made national headlines. Nearly 1 million people were evacuated because of the ash and imminent eruption threats.
According to the Disaster Response Operations Monitoring and Information Center (DROMIC), there were a total of 23,915 people in 152 evacuation centers, and an additional 224,188 people were staying at other locations as of 3 February. With so many people affected the need for relief supplies and support was great.
The doTERRA Healing Hands Foundation, reached out to Mentors International to see how THEY COULD HELP. Since we have been serving in the Philippines for 30 years our in-country staff would be able to connect directly with relief efforts. Because of the financial support of the doTERRA Healing Hands Foundation our teams were able to purchase supplies, create hygiene kits, and distribute aid supplies to those most in need.
On January 23, 2020, our team from Mentors Philippines met with Anthony, the doTERRA Event Specialist in the Philippines to start locally purchasing relief supplies. It took three days just to purchase all of these supplies.
Then on Saturday, January 25th our staff from Mentors Philippines and several doTERRA Wellness Advocates got together to organize these supplies and to put together Relief/Hygiene Kits. During this service project our volunteers created:
- 1,000 Relief/Hygiene Kits (toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, sanitary pads, laundry detergent, face masks, alcohol wipes, diapers, etc)
- 300 relief pack for children (Biscuits, candies, toys, drawing/coloring books, etc)
They also organized and packaged:
- 1,000 pillows
- 1,000 blankets
- 1,000 pairs of slippers
- 1,000 gallons of drinking water
- Assorted medicines
On the following Tuesday, five of the Mentors Philippines staff members met at the doTERRA office to load our rented vans to go deliver these relief supplies. We traveled to Batangas with a convoy of eight relief vans. There were big signs posted on these vans saying, “Relief Goods for TAAL, Do Not Delay”.
We stopped at several evacuation centers during our trip. Our first stop was at the Kumintang Ibaba covered court, where there were 60 families evacuated. We left some supplies and then traveled to the second evacuation area in Balete with 45 families. The third stop was in Ilaya, with 50 families, the fourth evacuation center was in Soro-Soro with 80 families evacuated, the fifth stop was at the Batangas Stake Center for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. There were 60 families evacuated, living in the chapel with over 200 individuals from all different denominations. At each of these stops, we left relief supplies.
Our last stop was in Ibaan, Batangas where almost 500 individuals were living after being evacuated. It took our convoy over three hours to get to Batangas. We stayed for almost three hours distributing relief supplies, talking with, and comforting the families living there before going home.
Today, weak steam and ash emissions as well as elevated seismic activity continues, showing that the volcano remains restless and could produce more eruptions with little warning. Many families are still displaced and the supplies purchased through the doTERRA Healing Hands Foundation are still used and greatly appreciated today.
A special thanks to Misty Bastian, doTERRA U.S.A., to Anne Wairepo, and the entire doTERRA Healing Hands team, to Michael Carson, General Manager for doTERRA Philippines and all of the Wellness Advocates for helping make this service project such a success.
“All the evacuees were very grateful and happy that we went there extended our help to them. We were able to see smiling faces despite their situation. It was a humbling experience being there giving hope to the distressed people of Batangas. We are all tired, but happy. Every minute of preparation, shopping, and travel was worth it.”