The Seventh-day Adventist churches on the islands of Saipan and Tinian joined us in the Typhoon Yutu Relief Efforts in their respective communities. Church members who participated in the Disaster Assessment class conducted by Derrick Lea, NAD ACS DR director, assessed homes that were severely damaged by the Typhoon. Based on the degree of damage done to homes, families were given vouchers for building materials to help rebuild their homes.
From November 16 – 19, the Tinian SDA Church volunteers assessed homes in their community, and ended up providing vouchers to 61 households. These vouchers were especially beneficial to those families who were still waiting to get assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) or other non-profit organizations. Pr. Paulo Restauro, Jr., pastor of the Tinian SDA Church, was extremely grateful to his church members and ACS personnel for their wonderful service to the community.
We had volunteers from the Saipan SDA Church who also lent their assistance in handing out vouchers to their community. They started assessing homes early this month, and concluded its voucher distribution on November 25. The volunteers were led by their director, Dr. Warren Creed, who runs the SDA Dental Clinic on Saipan, and coordinator, Shack Manuel. They visited 219 houses in Koblerville and San Antonio, where each received vouchers ranging from $100 to $500, depending on the extent of the damage. The vouchers can be redeemed at a local hardware store in exchange for building materials, or other household items.
The residents were overwhelmed with joy and truly appreciative of the help they received. One resident who was very thankful for receiving a $500 voucher said, “Our house was totally wrecked and my priority is to buy some building materials”. The volunteers were also glad that they could be of service even though they had limited resources to work with. Dr. Creed said, “I wish we could do more. It’s hard to say ‘no’ to people who are in need.” In total, ACS provided $100,000 to assist the Typhoon survivors: $20,000 worth of vouchers were distributed on Tinian and $80,000 on Saipan.