BURY Free Press readers have donated more than quarter of a tonne of sheets and blankets alone to our Philippines Disaster Appeal.
On top of that you brought in tinned food and baby milk which in the next few days will be packed into a 40ft shipping container by the Bury St Edmunds charity Aid to Hospitals Worldwide (A2HW) along with all the essential equipment to equip a health clinic in the flood-hit zone.
The food and blankets will go to Bury-born Mary Rendon and her husband Ramil who have been helping their flood hit neighbours on top of existing work with street children. Their work with the children is even more urgent and vital now there are so many more orphans since Typhoon Washi hit in mid December, washing away whole housing estates.
Mary’s work in Cagayan de Oro has been supported by her parents Jo and Andy Conroy of Scarlin Road, Bury through The Conroy-Rendon Charitable Trust. Jo is also A2HW’s logistics manager and will mastermind the job of filling the container in the three hour window the shippers give them.
“It’s quite an art,” she said. “We’ll pack the food and blankets in small boxes to fit in among the larger items. You pay for the volume, so you want to fill every space so you’re not paying to ship air.”
Jo added: “I have to say a big thank-you to everybody because it’s made a difference. Raising the profile was important. In her latest email Mary has said ‘I don’t feel so alone’ because of the support she’s had from home.”
That support included £500 from her old school, County Upper, which helped Mary to buy vital supplies locally.
The health centre A2HW is helping to equip with everything from hospital beds to bandages was built before the floods but did not even have a working blood pressure monitor. Jo says there are now 15,000 people there.
You can still make cash donations to The Conroy-Rendon Charitable Trust, c/o A2HW, PO Box 603, Bury St Edmunds, IP33 9DF (gift aided if possible).