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GEF Response to Employees Affected by Typhoon Haiyan

November 12, 2013

The tragedy that has befallen the Philippines is beyond the scope of what many of us can imagine. What news there is paints a picture of devastation beyond comprehension.  Due to the fact that virtually all forms of communication have been destroyed, many employees throughout the country that are of Filipino descent, or employees that have close friends in the Philippines, are almost totally in the dark about the health and whereabouts of their loved ones, leading to fear and speculation.

The Genesis Employee Foundation can help employees in times of medical, funeral, domestic abuse and natural disaster emergencies that have affected the employee’s personal living situation.  While our hearts go out to all in the Philippines, we are not set up to support other organizations.  Our donations are strictly to be used to assist Genesis employees. 

While we cannot financially support requests to assist those affected by Typhoon Haiyan, we suggest Genesis employees consider the following:

1) Understand, be mindful and support affected colleagues.  They may be suffering from signs of post-traumatic stress, such as:
• Crying at work
• Inability to concentrate
• Increased need to talk to others that are similarly affected
• Becoming distant, irritable or irrational/emotional
Please know that HMS, our company Employee Assistance Program is thinking about this terrible tragedy, and are here to support you and your employees in any way that they can.  Please call 800-343-2186, or visit HMS’ website for resources, articles and other information.

2) Consider donating, or having a location-based fundraiser to support legal, legitimate charities that are supporting the relief effort.  The following is a list of organizations that you may consider.  Please note GEF does not endorse any of these organizations.

The World Food Program is working to bring food to refugees around the world and people facing hardship due to natural disasters. The organization is mobilizing quickly to reach those in need in the Philippines, according to its website, and donations will help provide emergency food assistance to families and children in the area devastated by a typhoon.

The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) has deployed assessment, rescue and relief teams to evaluate the damage from the typhoon and to support rescue efforts.

The American Red Cross, which responds to about 70,000 natural and man-made disaster each year, is accepting donations to help people affected by the Pacific typhoon, according to its website. Donations can be made in honor of or in memory of an individual.

AmeriCares is a non-profit emergency response and global health organization.  In a statement on its website, AmeriCares says it delivers medical and humanitarian aid to people in need worldwide in times of epic disaster or daily struggle.

The Salvation Army is accepting donations specifically for Typhoon Haiyan.  According to a Salvation Army statement, cash donations allow disaster responders to immediately meet the specific needs of disaster survivors without incurring many of the costs associated with sorting, packing, transporting and distributing donated goods.  The relief services are funded entirely by donors and the Salvation Army says it uses 100 percent of all disaster donations to support disaster relief operations.

Mercy Corps is deploying emergency responders to the Philippines and will be working with partners on the ground to meet the urgent humanitarian needs of survivors, the organization says on its website.  Mercy Corps says donations will help survivors meet their basic needs and begin rebuilding after the typhoon.

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) has dispatched an emergency team to the Philippines to respond to basic safe water, hygiene and sanitation needs. The IRC plans to expand its response as determined by needs on the ground.

The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee has begun collecting funds for relief efforts and consulting with local authorities, the Filipino Jewish community, and global partners to assess the unfolding situation on the ground and ensure survivors’ immediate needs are addressed.

JDC has provided immediate relief and long-term assistance to victims of natural and manmade disasters around the globe, including Haiti, Japan, and South Asia after the Indian Ocean Tsunami, and continues to operate programs designed to rebuild infrastructure and community life in disaster-stricken regions.

Samaritan’s Purse has deployed disaster response specialists, including water and nutrition experts, to the Philippines, according to its website. Their team is working with local Christians to coordinate relief efforts on the hard-hit islands of Leyte and Samar.