On December 24, 2015, the Philippine Red Cross Office (Ministry-owned building) was among the structures that were razed by a fire that started just a few meters away. The staff and volunteers quickly vacated the office taking as many things as they could carry. However, the fire went on, and it became a sad sight. While there were no casualties, some of the important documents of the Chapter were not saved. The volunteers returned the next day to clean up with memories of the Chapter in their hands. Hearts were shattered.
After six months of temporarily occupying one of the vacant rooms in Barangay Manocmanoc, the office was finally reconstructed. Thanks to the anonymous donors who believed the Red Cross should stay and continue their services on the island. This incident was indeed a challenge that made us stronger and made us realize the value of what we have now.
Fast track forward to October 24, 2019, another fire occurred just behind the Red Cross building. This time, with lesser staff in the office and more things to carry. The thought of losing the office once again was just unbearable. Reaping the many years of hard work and training people in the community, volunteers came in to help. In no time, the equipment and documents were saved.
We are also grateful to St. Gabriel Medical Center for allowing us to safely store the Chapter’s belongings so we can go back to helping the community. A First Aid Station was set up with a welfare desk to assist the affected families and individuals. The operation continued into the evening by providing blankets and pillows to those who stayed in the evacuation area. Hot meals were served too.
And this time, the office was saved.
THE DIRECTION WE ARE TAKING
It has been a longtime vision to put up a blood facility on the island and with the help of Rotary Jindo Korea and Rotary Club of Boracay. We are getting closer to making it happen. While we were complying with other requirements, it was discovered that we still lacked some necessary equipment like the clinical centrifuge, water bath, and agglutination viewer. Fortunately, the Local Government Unit of Malay, through the leadership of Acting Mayor Frolibar Bautista granted the support.
Furthermore, the facility needs to be self-sustaining; from catering to the blood needs of wide range emergencies, to keeping up with its operating expenses and salary of the five staff.
The opening of a blood facility will complete the six major services of the Philippine Red Cross: Disaster Management Service, Red Cross Youth/ Volunteer Service, Health Service, Welfare Service, Safety Service, and the Blood Service.
HOW TO HELP?
For over eight years, the Philippine Red Cross Boracay-Malay Chapter has made a mark in the community because of its programs of initiating Lifeguarding, Youth Leadership, Community Empowerment, Health Awareness Campaigns, Psychosocial Support, Disaster, and Emergency Responses.
This young Chapter is being run by dedicated and passionate staff along with committed volunteers and a dependable Board of Directors. We work around the clock, but we need to raise funds to have enough resources to support our services and operations.
The Philippine Red Cross is a non-government organization; we depend on donations to carry out our mission. So how you can help?
• Corporate Social Responsibility: A monthly, quarterly, or annual pledge of PhP2,000 will help pay for the Blood Processing fee of an individual in a traumatic emergency, a mother experiencing labor difficulties, premature babies, children in chemotherapy, elderlies with anemia and dengue patients.
• Safety Services Training: We are the only Red Cross Chapter that provides free training for the children and the youth on Leadership, Swimming, and Lifesaving. We do it every time you and your establishment/s sign up on our First Aid, CPR, and Lifeguarding Courses.
• The Biggest Humanitarian Run: Fundraising activities not only generate resources, but are a venue to gather volunteers and stakeholders for one good cause- to help. On December 8, 2019, we are inviting you to join us as we fill the front beach with your kind hearts and raise funds for the first year of operation of the Blood Facility. A registration fee of PhP700 will entitle every registered participant a singlet, string bag, and race bib. It is an event on Boracay that one cannot just miss as it will also happen simultaneously in 105 Red Cross Chapters in different parts of the country.
It is only together that we can make a BIG difference. Your Local Red Cross Chapter is as Strong as How You Contribute to it.