December is a big month for All Hands; it marks the anniversary of Typhoon Sendong in Cagayan de Oro and also a month that we’ve been in New York on Staten Island and Long Island after Superstorm Sandy. As we kick off our annual appeal fundraising campaign, we want to thank everyone—both donors and volunteers—who have made it possible for us continue to serve around the world when and where we are needed.
In an effort to consolidate all the updates coming out of New York regarding our Sandy response activities, we’ve launched a Sandy Response landing page: hands.org/sandy. It makes it easier to check in on our progress on Staten Island and Long Island and all the updates associated with the work we are doing.
As with every response, we have faced our share of challenges in getting our operations off the ground and are grateful for the help we’ve received along the way. Without the local volunteers who continue to come help muck and gut homes or the support we’ve received from community members and elected officials, our operations would not be what they are.
We are also aware of the significant interest from many of you who have expressed a desire in coming out and volunteering but cannot due to our lack of proper housing. Because the damage to these communities has been so widespread, ensuring that we are responsible in finding a housing solution that can accommodate outside volunteers while not imposing an additional burden on a community with need has been difficult. Because of these challenges we have had to be flexible and veer from our standard model of hosting a residential volunteer project. We are not giving up our search to find a base that can house volunteers but as the landscape of needs change with each passing week, we need to ensure that there is work suitable for residential volunteers moving forward.
We thank you for your patience and continued support as we work through these unique circumstances and are optimistic that we will find a solution that works to meet the needs of the community, while utilizing as many of your capable hands as possible.
As we continue to explore possibilities, we will do our best to keep you updated on our Sandy page, and on facebook and twitter.
Cagayan de Oro
This week, Typhoon Bopha passed across our base and, despite it being billed as a super-typhoon, all is well at Project Cagayan de Oro. Our team on the ground took the necessary steps to protect our base and volunteers and all are safe and the base is fine. Our build site sustained minor flooding, but all of our structures withstood the high winds and torrential rains. Some of the lower lying areas however weren’t as fortunate, and were impacted by storm surge, rain, and winds. In response to the identified need for assistance, we are spending a day in the affected communities ‘mudding’ out homes, thankful that we are able to lend our hands as they begin on their road to recovery. We also wanted to remind you that we are still accepting volunteers on this project, which is slated to run until February 20, 2013. If you would like more information and apply please follow this link.
Thank you for your interest and continued desire to be an active part of the All Hands family. Know that your support both in the field and from home helps us grow our name and recognition for providing services to those who need it.
-The All Hands Team