Local Volunteers Head To Philippines To Help After Typhoon
by Emily Luxen
BRENTWOOD, Tenn. - A group of Middle Tennessee volunteers is making final preparations to head to the Philippines to help with typhoon relief efforts.
The trip is being coordinated by Hope Force International, a non-profit international disaster relief agency based in Brentwood.
Right now, group leaders are concentrating on getting everything organized, and details ironed out so they will be ready to tackle whatever challenges and needs come up in the field.
"The people in the Philippines are in desperate need for help on so many levels," said Cherie Minton, Co-Founder of Hope Force International. "They have immediate medical needs, emotional needs, and they are absolutely devastated."
The crew of five volunteers will be focusing primarily on medical needs first, but will also supply emotional and spiritual support. They will spend two weeks in the Philippines.
Super Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines on Nov. 8, and killed over 4,000 people, and displaced around three million.
Volunteers who are going on the trip said they are preparing for an overwhelming, and inspiring experience.
"I am not going to look at thousands who need help," said Marianne Lako, a staff member for Hope Force International who is going on the trip. "I am going to look at the person right in front of me and try and give them what they need."
Hope Force International also has crews of volunteers dispatched to Illinois following the recent tornadoes there.
Hope Force International is still trying to recruit doctors to help with medical needs in the Philippines. For more information on how to help or the group's efforts visit: http://www.hopeforce.org/
Students in the Academy of Energy and Power at Maplewood are busy getting ready for next week's Project Expo and had the opportunity to show it off some of their projects to Tennessee Congressman Jim Cooper.