East Texas organization set to help Philippine relief efforts

LINDALE (KYTX) - East Texans with the non-profit organization MercyWorks are headed to the Philippines to provide disaster relief. The first team will leave Friday to help some of the thousand devastated by the massive typhoon.

Typhoons are quite common in the Philippines, averaging about 20 a year.

The most recent one by far is one of the most extreme.

Danial Visitecion is a MercyWorks volunteer and he grew up in the Philippines. He has since moved from the area, but still has friends that live in some of the hardest hit areas.

"Words can not express it, it's just the worst the worst,"  Visitecion said.

The typhoon is estimated to have left 2,000 dead and more than 600,000 homeless. Visitecion will join about a dozen other people that will head to the typhoon ravaged area to scout out the place to see what type of aid is needed. They will then share the with other volunteers back home before the next team heads over.

"Look at places that haven't been served, a lot of roads are blocked with trees and landslides," said Visitacion about the process of determining which locations they'll look to help.

Tacloban is a major area that has already received a lot of help, however MercyWorks team members will visit some of the other areas.

"Our objective is just to reach the people that's there...We know they are made in God's Image," said JC Foster who is also a MercyWorks volunteer.

Over the next few months, more teams will be sent to help in the recovery efforts in the Philippines.

 "There's just so many unknowns right now we could be doing feed programs, we could be doing medical outreach stuff., we could be doing construction...it could be anything," said Foster

Seeing the chaos won't be easy, but the volunteers are ready to do what's necessary.

"Now it's happen in my own country, if I respond to other countries I can respond to where I came from," said Visitacion.



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