My long-time friend from college, Rahim, lives in Cebu City, Philippines. He’s fine, and he immediately began providing humanitarian aid in the form of food and medical supplies to people who were injured and whose homes and belongings were devastated by the storm.
Yesterday he said,
With $350 donated, we bought 150 kg of rice, 300 tins of sardines, 150 servings of instant noodles, ten limb saws, ten pair work gloves’ 50 bottles of sterile alcohol, and matches. Hope we can do the same tomorrow. 100% goes to buy food and supplies. The aid agencies are overwhelmed and the areas we are helping are smaller, and out of the way.
I will personally match any donations made in bitcoin 1:1 for this effort up to 10 bitcoin. I control the bitcoin address below and will forward everything I receive and matcing donations to support Rahim’s efforts. Here’s the Bitcoin address I’m using for this: 1KCjWWhESnJHb3rDvRh65AJYACbRCWGPof and following is the QR code for supporting these grassroots Philippines relief efforts:
Fr33 Aid applauds people like Rahim who find themselves in a position to help others in need and then go out and do it. Our mission is to support individuals whose projects highlight the value of mutual aid. To further this mission, Fr33 Aid has donated 1 bitcoin to the address above in support of Rahim and the people he’s helping in the Philippines.
UPDATE #1, 11 pm CDT Nov. 12: Over 5 bitcoins raised already! Thank you for the outpouring of support!
Rahim posted the following to Facebook today:
To my dear friends, and friends of friends, who have helped with donations: every good person I know here in Cebu is involved in relief efforts. They are variously packing food bundles into the evening with their kids, collecting donations around town and delivering them to collection centers (there are MANY), employing their own boats and vehicles to drive supplies and help up north, coordinating supply lines and managing collection points, etc. These people are from all walks of life, dropping whatever they are doing to help the people in Philippines whose lives have been devastated by this disaster. Their selflessness has give me a profound sense of community here, and the value of community accross borders.
But I have a problem, the amount of donations I have received from you will soon exceed what I can personally distribute in a timely manner (limitations of vehicles, time). In lieu of personally overseeing the full life cycle of these funds I can, pending consensus, distribute GOODS I PURCHASE AND DOCUMENT to heroic friends mentioned above, who will get it where it needs to be to keep the aid flowing north. What do you think?
Derick M. Bulkley AKA Rahim Jehosophat Rabeepatootin
The consensus among Rahim’s friends is captured in one of the comments, which states, “I trust you more than any government or nonprofit organization.” And I replied, “I absolutely support this, Rahim. Thank you!”
Per Rahim’s request, I’m sending him USD via PayPal each day at Bitstamp spot for the bitcoins collected to date. So far I’ve sent him $2820.09. I’ll let the bitcoins continue to accumulate meanwhile so the total amount can be tracked easily.
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UPDATE #2, 10:30 pm Central Daylight Time Nov. 13: We raised an additional 4.49891963 bitcoins today for a total of 8.2250795. Along with my matching contributions and the rise in the bitcoin-to-USD exchange rate, today’s donations amounted to $3660.32. Unfortunately, after today we’re going to have to find others in the Philippines who are doing work there to accept future donations to the bitcoin address we set up. For details, please see below for today’s update from Rahim:
3900 tins of sardines, 350 kg rice, 650 kg corn grits, 40 or so rolls of tarp. – yesterdays purchases.
Nails, candles, med supplies, rope. – todays shopping list
We pack bundles today and tomorrow depart for malapascua island on two boats for a 7 hour trip.
Roughly half of what i purchased goes to malapascua, the other to daanbintayan, bintayan and carnaza islands. Kudos to @raffi ruiz and @butch carunguay for that effort.
Thank you everyone for the amazing outpouring of support. because i am traveling back to the US next week, i ask that you direct future donations to the aid org of your choice. I will do the best with the funds donated so far, and post receipts, an accounting, and pictures…
Please add comments on this post if you have suggestions for where to send additional donations we collect. I’ve also asked Rahim for names of people he’s working with who could potentially accept our donations to continue their work. My thoughts are to hold onto the donations until a suitable local, grass-roots aid provider/ organizer could accept them or until Rahim returns to the Philippines himself and continue the work. Sadly, I’m sure aid will be needed in the coming months long after the initial crisis. Please let me know your thoughts.
UPDATE #3, 6:30 pm Pacific Daylight Time Nov. 14: We raised an additional 0.13 bitcoins today for a total of 8.3550795. With my matching contributions, today’s donations were $107.64.
Despite winding down of the funding part of this campaign, however, Rahim and friends have outdone themselves today and are still working on spending our previous donations. Following is Rahim’s update for today:
I chose not to go on delivery mission to Malapascua Island – it is well enough staffed by great people. For reports/pictures, watch the pages of Jc Cergneux, Sophie Secco, Christine Hamoy in 36 hours. I sent them off at the pier at 5:00AM this morning, and dropped off late purchases/deliveries:
- 40 hammers
- 30 limb/tree saws
- 48 cooking pots
- 100 blankets
- 125 Kg of common nails
- $300 in medical supplies – wound care, antibiotics, Antidiarrhoeals, paracetamol, etc. That’s in addition to all the food, water and shelter materials YOU helped us purchase.
If you still want to contribute, I will do my very best to make sure it is efficient, fair, and timely. My paypal address is a regular gmail com, preceded by my last name, Bulkley.
I will stay in Cebu City doing purchasing, logistics, and coordination, working with the amazing Raffy Ruiz. My plan is stock up for an overland delivery to northern Cebu today and tomorrow, then coordinate with the info clearinghouse to identify under served locations, and head out Sunday with a group of volunteers in a caravan.
I also distributed $500 to my friend Rochelle P. de Leon, who is from Tacloban City and just returned from there. Now that she’s back in Manila, she and her friends are preparing to deploy a free field hospital in Tacloban City this coming week, with volunteer physicians and staff. Please contact her if you can help, she’s amazingly good people, rock solid. Friend her.
Personal contacts came back from the far-north of Cebu Island with a report of a political family and priest there, co-opting food shipments, diverting aid to their OWN warehouses and BLATANTLY choosing favorites among their constituents, as well as planning to parlay the water distribution system into a for-profit enterprise, post disaster. This is why citizens have to be involved.
Thank you, Rahim and friends, for your heroic work helping victims of Typhoon Haiyan!
UPDATE #4, 9:30 pm Pacific Daylight Time November 15, 2013: We raised an additional 0.7969205 bitcoins today for a total of 9.152. With my matching contributions, today’s donations were $667.82. I believe we’ll break 10 bitcoins before the weekend’s over!
Some of Rahim’s friends traveled to Malapascua to make deliveries while he and other friends organized for the next wave of goods packaging and distribution. Here’s an update from Rahim’s friend, Jc Cergneux:
3 hours away from Cebu. Outstanding volunteer work done (relief goods distribution, hot meals distribution, first aid station, etc…) in the past 2 days, like all the small private groups which are doing the same in all affected areas. I feel discovering humankind again… Next trip in a couple of days…
And here’s an update from Rahim today:
Yesterday, with trucks and boats departed, was a lull, and time to evaluate and coordinate. Lots of conflicting information, amid individual reports of locations passed over or missed by most recent deliveries. Plan: purchasing today, afternoon and evening packing, early departure tomorrow with pickups, cars and mini trucks. Dr. Eva Müller has secured, in addition to everything else, a massive donation of medical supplies. Coordinating with Stephan Frommelt, @jan Tylka, Tai Huynh, @patrice, and many more…. with the trucks we can get well off the main roads, where the big lorries cannot go.
Shopping today: Stephan Frommelt – 1500 kg rice, Tai Huynh and Jared Stephens – 2000 instant noodles, @patrice and moi – 45 cases/100 each sardines, misc: 2500 paracetamol, salt, cooking oil packets, nails, bags. Packing party at der Casa Wolfesschanze starts at 2 PM.
In addition, the person that Rahim mentioned yesterday as being involved in setting up a free field hospital in Tacloban, Rochelle P. de Leon, has provided addresses including a PayPal address for donations. She is also accepting clothing, medicine, canned goods, food, etc. for distribution as well. For any bitcoin donations received after this weekend, I propose to send them to Rochelle to continue supporting the good work being done on the ground there. Rahim will be returning to the US next week for a few weeks, and Rochelle will be better able to put our donations to good use during that time. There weren’t many photos today, but I will post the ones I’ve seen and will continue posting more as they come in over here.
UPDATE #5, 10:30 pm Pacific Daylight Time November 16, 2013: We did it! We met the initial goal of raising 10 bitcoins!! Many thanks to Bitcoin Not Bombs for putting us over the top. In addition, we realized that several people who donated to Fr33 Aid since November 12 likely intended to donate to the Philippines relief address, and the Fr33 Aid team agreed to forward those 0.68276981 bitcoins in donations as well. In all, this accounts for an additional 1.53076981 bitcoins raised today for a total of 10.68276981. With my matching contributions on the portion up to 10 bitcoins, today’s payment was $1064.48. Meanwhile, our friends on the ground in the Philippines continue to do amazing work.
At Rahim’s house yesterday, nearly 500 family aid packages were assembled, each including 3 kg rice, 9 cans sardines and 4 instant noodles. Early this morning Philippines’ time, Rochelle P. deLeon reported that a truckload of goods was sent to Tacloban, and Raffy Ruiz reported that about 500 bags of goods were sent to Kinatarkan Island north of Cebu. The ~1800 families on this Kinatarkan Island reportedly took refuge in caves and fortunately suffered no casualties. However, with all the destruction wrought by the typhoon, I’m sure they appreciate receiving the goods. Aid packages have been assembled at Giuseppe Pizzeria & Sicilian Roast in Cebu City, which has been taken over with supporting relief efforts. The morning of 17 November Philippines’ time, Raffy Ruiz said,
No more goods left at Giuseppe Pizzeria & Sicilian Roast. What we had left is making it’s way to Kinatarkan Island north of Cebu. For those who still want to donate you may still drop off goods and to our beloved packers who want to donate their time please stand by if we receive any today.
I’ll be mobile the whole day so just call [redacted] to contact me.
Because Rahim will be traveling to San Francisco for the next few weeks, today’s donations were sent to Rahim’s friend Rochelle P. deLeon, who is working on various projects, including sending goods to Tacloban and setting up a field hospital there. Many photos were added today to our related post.
UPDATE #6, 6:45 pm Pacific Daylight Time November 17, 2013: No new donations were received today, but our friends in the Philippines have been busy. Rochelle started a new Facebook page to provide updates on the projects we and others are supporting. Rochelle describes her projects as follows:
– Rehabilitation of Bethany Hospital
– Dr Escape’s field clinic
– Feeding program (I am doing this with a few of my good friends next weekend)
– Adopt a family project. I am going to identify a few families who greatly need help to get started again, especially those who not only lost their homes but also lost the breadwinner in the family. I will profile them and you can choose to adopt one. More details later…
– My brother from a Canadian family, Dr. Michael Bartucci’s medical mission in December. You can help him fund it here:http://www.gofundme.com/5ag2fs
These projects do not involve the government, politics or any huge known organizations. These are ran/initiatives of people who are mostly victims themselves.
Thank you to all who have already donated. Funds will be channeled to these projects as soon as they are credited to the bank.
Now that we’ve reached our initial 10-bitcoin goal, donations have stopped coming in, but all of the above-listed projects need funding, and the victims of Typhoon Yolanda will unfortunately need support for many months to come. I’m hopeful that our community will continue to support these projects and possibly even attract someone else to match donations. My friends and I will be very happy to publicize such a gesture. Thank you for your support!
UPDATE #7, 9 pm GMT November 18, 2013: Wow! A very generous donor sent us 5 bitcoin today. With bitcoin’s dollar exchange rate rising quickly the last few days, that translates to $2902.45 helping typhoon victims.
Since it takes PayPal awhile to clear the funds, Rochelle has started with some smaller projects, as she described as follows:
Sent 250 tabs of Antibiotics, 2 packs of baby diapers, 2 packs of napkins, gloves, masks, gauze bandages, betadines with wonderful woman @sophie who will be working hand in hand with VFV volunteers. Donated gas money for @Mai Ilagan’s crew who is sending a truckload of relief goods (clothes, food and water as well as medicines). They are shipping out today. These people are going to work directly with the victims, no politics involved.
Thanks again to everyone who have donated, all who have pledge to donate. we are all humbled by your generosity, support, love and trust. We will be forever grateful. To all the Waray warays who are working almost round the clock volunteering despite the fact that they are victims themselves – they also lost their homes, friends and family members, my respect, admiration and hats off to you all.
I will be creating different FB pages for specific projects and will add details later tonight so you know where you can help via donation (cash or kind) or volunteer your time and skill.
Rochelle is currently in Manila and will be traveling to Tacloban soon, which is the focus of most of her group’s relief efforts.
Meanwhile, Rahim and Cebu friends were busy as well. Here is an update from Rahim:
Thank you all for your INCREDIBLE support for the victims of the typhoon and the Filipino people. Paypal donations totaled almost $10,100 USD, with just over $8,800 already spent on direct, immediate aid. Mostly food and water, but also medicine, shelter materials, soap, plastic bags.
I will provide a full accounting late this week, and post scans or pictures of receipts, and an indication of to which locations specific aid went. Many donations came in since I last thanked individual donors, my apologies for not posting thanks yet, but you shall not be forgotten.
It has been an amazing, reaffirming experience to see so many people jump up to help people whom they do not know, nor ever will, and for once I can honestly say that I am using the word “reaffirming” without rolling my eyes at the same time.
Pictures of yesterdays’ distribution later. Today we buy 1800 cans sardines, 900 noodles (thanks Tai Huynh) and soap (Tai also!). Stephan Frommelt andDezhai Lapizchu are doing the shopping, while I am sitting on my ass doing accounting planning.
Although food is getting to the main population centers in the north, according to stephan rommel, you only need drive 5 km up a horrible dirt track to find villages with hungry people. Supplemental food delivery by citizens are still critical.
And then a few hours later, Rahim posted this update:
All done! 400 more family packs, 3 kg rice, 6 cans sardines, 3 instant noodles. We’re distributing the soap separately, because apparently no one likes rice flavored soap.
Great thanks to the donor of the 5 bitcoins today! That will go a long way as illustrated in the updates above, but we do still need help to continue the longer-term projects Rochelle and friends have planned. Please help if you can by donating bitcoin at the address/ QR code above. Thank you!
UPDATE #8, 9 pm GMT November 21, 2013: On Tuesday, my friend Paige presented about our project at a San Francisco bitcoin meetup, and we received 4 donations totaling 0.81730155 bitcoins. That evening I sent $418.81 to Rochelle via PayPal. Yesterday we received another 1-bitcoin donation, and I sent $589.14 to Rochelle via PayPal. Today we received .03788452 bitcoins from one donation, and I’ll group it with any additional donations received through this weekend to minimize PayPal fees.
Meanwhile, Rochelle went shopping today in preparation for her relief trip to Tacloban this weekend and continued recruiting for contacts in the outskirts of Tacloban to coordinate relief efforts and identify any additional help needed. She plans to shop for additional goods tomorrow. See our related photo post for a photo of the medical supplies purchased.
UPDATE #9, 9:15 pm Pacific Daylight Time November 25, 2013: We received a few more donations on the 22nd, and I sent $161.83 to Rochelle via PayPal that day. Donations have been slowing down, but Rochelle and team have been busy helping people of Tacloban and nearby villages this past week.
Rochelle reported that funds to date have been used for gas, transportation, medicines and medical supplies, candles and food. There were multiple teams delivering goods to families in need. Rochelle and friends also transported government allocated relief goods to remote villages around Tacloban.
After visiting Tacloban this past week, Rochelle’s game plan now focuses on 3 relief efforts:
- Mats and mosquito lotions to help people manage the terrible mosquito problem in Tacloban now.
- Another truck will shipping out as soon as the team has collected enough donated goods to deliver.
- The Adopt-a-Family project. Rochelle has interviewed a few families and will soon be creating a profile for each of them and working with friends to identify additional families. The plan is to provide them with tools and materials to rebuild their houses and perhaps also school supplies for kids and other expenses to get their life back to normal as possible. Rochelle will be meeting with an engineer later this week to develop cost estimates on a decent basic house for each family.
Another project under consideration includes helping families with groceries for their Christmas Eve or Noche Buena. Meanwhile, Rochelle continues to work on recruiting medical professionals for a medical mission that will take place the third week of December. These projects continue to need funding, and everyone involved appreciates the support!
UPDATE #10, 7:45 am Pacific Daylight Time December 2, 2013: Yesterday Fr33 Aid sent its remaining November donations to Philippines relief projects, which means Rochelle received $1236.78 via PayPal. November was a big month for Fr33 Aid, including all our donations for Bitcoin Black Friday. In addition, I missed making an update on November 27, when I sent $300.54 from various donations.
Rochelle has posted some photos and updates on her group’s Facebook page, Tindog Waray Help for Haiyan/Yolanda Philippine Typhoon Victims, and I’ve shared photos of their purchases of mosquito netting and plastic mats on our sister post. Today she posted the following update about her projects:
We are excited to announce that we received more financial donations from our generous hearts and good souls Fr33 Aid, Rahim Jehosophat Rabeepatootin, Bonnie Sorensen Carver, Benj Luis. To date, we have received a total of $10,235.6 which is beyond what I have ever expected when I first personally cried for help. Thank you very very very much. Majority of the funds now are being prepared for our adopt a family project which logistics are still being worked on. Later today, I should be able to post a few profiles of the families but photos might need to follow later this week. Thank you will never be enough, guys. You all rock!
I send our thanks right back at Rochelle. The US media has moved onto other stories, but she and her friends continue to help people of the Philippines with a variety of projects.
Rochelle has shared some of our donations with a project by her friend Jericho Ilagan, who describes it as follows:
There is a famous proverb that says “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
The Fisherman’s Village, located in Brgy. 88 of San Jose, Tacloban City, about a kilometer away from the Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport, is one of the hardest hit areas of Typhoon Haiyan aka Typhoon Yolanda.
Most (if not all) of the families from the area now live in make-shift houses and have lost their livelihood to the onslaught of the typhoon. To put it in perspective, their houses were situated on the beach shore.
We all know that we can help out by donating relief goods to the displaced families in Tacloban. The best help we can give though is by helping them rebuild their lives.
I am reaching out to everyone (and to everyone you know as well) to pledge/contribute in helping the fishermen by giving them fishing boats. Each fishing boat (with paddles, non-motorized ones) would approximately cost PHP5,000. My goal is to be able to give out as much boats as we can. Each boat will bear the name of the donor(s) as well.
I’m proud that one of the boats will bear Fr33 Aid’s name. Thank you for your support!
UPDATE #11, noon Pacific Daylight Time December 29, 2013: While our friends in the Philippines continue to put our donations to good use directly with people who need the help, our campaign is coming to a close.
In total, we raised 19.40719863 bitcoins for these efforts! With my matching contributions on the first 10 bitcoins and the changing bitcoin exchange rate, that translated to $13,929.09 sent via PayPal, which charged an additional $130.04 total in fees.
I’m proud to be a part of this project and wish our friends in the Philippines well as they continue to help their neighbors and communities recover from this disaster.