This all costs money.
The donation response has been really great, Hampson said. It’s hard to measure as of yet and their best barometer has been online giving — and online giving “has been really fantastic,” he said. CWS is closing in around $70,000 already. The average gift is $120.
“People are reaching deep in their pockets,” Hampson said.
Like most of the local relief agencies, CWS is not shipping materials from the United States. Materials are being purchased from Asia, Australia and other countries near the Philippines.
“What we need is cash,” Hampson said.
The cash usually comes right after a disaster and then as the media spotlight turns away, less money flows in. Yet the needs are still there, he said.
“The images are very dramatic,” Hampson said. “I lived in the Philippines for a while. One of the things that’s hard to capture is the Philippines are 7,000 islands. Because of the intensity, the damage is really enormous over a large area. It’s affecting about 4 to 5 million people. We’ll be learning a lot more about the extent of the damage over the next couple of weeks.
“Having been in the fishing communities, they’re not built to stand 200 mph winds.”
He added, “One of the challenges is that people respond when they see that. ... but the recovery process, which takes months and years, doesn’t get much coverage. CWS and our partners are involved in this in the long haul.”
Hampson pointed out that CWS is still very active in Haiti three years after a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck that island nation. More than 100,000 people were killed in that quake. He added that there is still a considerable amount of work to be done there.
CWS has staff on the ground in the Philippines. Manila is the main point of contact with CWS, so communications is not a problem. They are able to make contact with people and Hampson believes some staff is in Tacloban.