While in Tacloban, the capital of the Philippine province of Leyte, Evan and Emma, 11-year-old twins, met their second cousin Alonzo for the first time and spent two weeks with the seven-year-old and his family, dad Jude and mother Jessica.
When Typhoon Haiyan devastated the Philippines in early November, Jude, Jessica and Alonzo drowned when their car was tossed by the surging storm. The family waited until the last minute to leave after helping other families flee the area.
Evan and Emma can’t change what happened, but they’re trying to make a difference for those who survived the deadliest Philippine typhoon on record.
The family, led by Marina, a Burnaby optometrist and found of the Third World Eye Care Society Canada, a volunteer registered charity that travels to provide eyecare and glasses to underprivileged people in the Third World, are currently filling a shipping container with food, clothes and blankets that will be shipped to the Philippines later this week.
Evan and Emma visited six high schools last week and have reached out to countless companies throughout Vancouver; Monday morning the Canucks fans dropped by Rogers Arena to rally support from you.
“We’re trying to get as much together as possible so that in a few months from now, when the media has disappeared, they still have the basic necessities to live, and then start rebuilding their lives,” said Derrick, who beamed with pride as his children delivered the message above in one take.
“We really appreciate all the support we can get, it’s really going to make a big difference when they receive the container filled with necessities.”
If you’d like to make a donation of non-perishable food items, they can be dropped off at Gate 16 at Rogers Arena.
The shipping container will arrive in six weeks and Derrick and Marina will be there to distribute its contents. If the area is safe enough for the children, Evan and Emma will be there as well, as will countless other volunteers from all over the world.
The supplies will make a world of difference to those affected, as will the hope of a brighter future because of your generosity.
For demonstrating selflessness wildly beyond their years, Evan and Emma will be at Rogers Arena tonight cheering on the Canucks live for the first time.