In the fortnight since Typhoon Haiyan battered the Philippines, people in Singapore have donated more than $2.5 million towards disaster relief through the Singapore Red Cross and Mercy Relief.
As of last night, Mercy Relief had collected $653,000 in donations from individuals and organisations in Singapore. The Red Cross has raised $1,914,898 so far, excluding pledges to match public funds like Oxley Holdings' dollar-for-dollar pledge up to $1 million.
Finance and administrative manager David Lim, 70, turned up at Mercy Relief's headquarters on Friday with $1,000 from him and his colleagues. "I was moved by a story of a domestic helper who donated $50 to help her brother rebuild his house, when that $50 means a lot to her. We have more than $50 to help, and if we all contribute, not only can we help to rebuild one house, we can help to rebuild many lives," said Mr Lim.
Also pitching in was a group of 10 students from the Red Cross Youth Nanyang Technological University Chapter. They set up a donation booth on campus and raised more than $21,000 over two days even as they juggled final-year exam preparations.
"This disaster had devastating effects and we thought that we could help. We didn't expect much because most people in school were busy with exams but were surprised and touched by the generosity of our peers and faculty," said the chapter's president, third-year student Kevin Chai, 22.
Secretary-general of the Singapore Red Cross Benjamin William said his organisation was heartened by the public's response.
"Over the past two weeks, we have witnessed an outpouring of compassion from the people of Singapore. We are very grateful to everyone who has come forward to help to bring relief to the devastated communities," he said.
Both humanitarian organisations have relief missions in the Philippines and are preparing to send more teams to the storm- stricken regions in the following weeks.
Mercy Relief will be dispatching its fourth response team soon to serve the stranded communities and will increase the intensity of aid delivery. The Red Cross is preparing three more medical missions of about 10 members each to be deployed between now and next month.
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