On November 8, 2013 the Philippines took a hit from one of the largest ever recorded typhoons. Over 10 million people were ravaged by this monster storm leaving, more than 660,000 of them displaced from their homes and thousands killed. In times when grief has struck humanity, the people of the world have a wonderful ability to try to come together to help one another. Not everyone has money to give, but everyone can give a hug. A group of youth have started a campaign called 10 Million Hugs with the goal of raising awareness, money and hugs for those that have been affected by Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) in the Philippines.
The group’s mission and challenge to everyone is to give a minimum of 100 hugs by December 25th. Once you have either hugged or been hugged, you are encouraged to share the story of 10 Million Hugs to your newly embraced friend and offer a donation of $5 through their website (of course any donation amount is warmly accepted). The end result is the completion of their two goals. In relation to the 10 million people that were affected, the hope is that an equal amount of hugs can be sent out into the world so that eventually they will reach the families that truly need them in the Philippines. The completion of goal number two will include that for each of the 10, 000 people offering 100 hugs, they will then proceed to donate to the fund raiser.
The Red Cross receives 100% of all the donations given through this particular website, making 10 million hugs an entirely non-profit group. Unfortunately, as much as many of us would also like to directly donate all of our hugs to the Philippines as well, that is not necessarily possible. But can be done is support groups like the Red Cross that are present in the disaster areas, and give the financial aid they need so that they may pass on the much needed aid, as well as love and compassion that efforts like these are founded on.
As a result of the huge demand for medical assistance in the Philippines, two Red Cross blood stations have been created in the Samar provinces. Fortunately due to the quick global response already, the Red Cross has assured that there is enough blood supply in both of these stations but more donations are always being accepted. What come as a pleasant surprise is that The Red Cross Philippines provides much more than just disaster relief and short-term medical aid. The major services that the Red Cross Philippines currently offers include the more well known blood services and disaster management services, but they also provide social, community health and safety, nursing, and of course volunteer services. Offering a holistic approach for the population, therapeutic counselling and youth leadership opportunities, they have become one of the most prominent humanitarian organizations in the country.
Left with the horrific aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), the Philippines has needed help more than ever before. After losing family members, their homes and a certainty for what might come next, who wouldn’t want a comforting hug? 10 Million Hugs is a fantastic way to spread the love and compassion you wish to share for those in the Philipines, raise awareness and donate valuable funding at once.
By Romana Outerbridge
10 Million Hugs