By Laura Sheahen, Catholic Relief Service (A Caritas Internationalis member)
Tropical storm Ketsana (local name: Ondoy) struck Manila and surrounding areas on Saturday, Sept. 26. The massive flooding that resulted killed over 200 people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee their homes. Most returned to find their belongings destroyed.
Caritas Philippines (NASSA) began ministering to flood victims immediately. Caritas gave victims bottled water and food like noodles, crackers, canned sardines, and rice.
Local Catholic dioceses partnered with NASSA and also provided used clothing. Hundreds of volunteers–often Catholic teens and college students–helped pack the items. NASSA will also distribute medicine and non-food items like cookware, hygiene kits, underwear, sleeping mats, blankets, mosquito nets, and more.