Views from a first-time volunteer

As a newcomer, I felt motivated just watching the organizers plan the relief operations in detail.
Despite having just a few short days to prepare, the organizing team was able to coordinate with partners (e.g. Amity Foundation Baguio, the Filipino-Chinese Calamity Relief Fund, UPCB Educational Foundation and University of the Philippines-Baguio) and prepare enough relief goods that would provide aid to more than 800 beneficiaries affected by the Benguet landslides caused by Typhoon Mangkhut (Ompong).
The sheer comprehensiveness of the planning showed the extent of the members’ seriousness, solidarity, and compassion towards the beneficiaries, balanced with professionalism and respect for their partners and sponsors.
The details that were discussed ranged from the nutritional benefits of each edible component of the relief goods, all the way to the extent of aid that each partner could contribute to the relief operations.
And, to me, it was nice to be reminded that there are people willing to go out of their way to help others, even if we don’t know them.

During the execution stage, it was surreal to see all the packed relief goods being received by the beneficiaries. They would have no idea how much effort went into the preparation of each bag, and we will never know how long and how much relief each bag will provide.
But whenever a recipient receives the goods, their expression would light up at the sheer weight of the bag, and it felt good, as the wish to help had become an actuality.
But there is only so much that we can do during the aftermath of a calamity. We can never truly comprehend what those who were directly affected by the disaster go through, and so we can only hope – temporary as it may be, that one simple bag of goods can offer the beneficiary one thing less to worry about, if only for just a few days.