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A Roller Coaster Of A News Week

What an emotional roller coaster the past week has been.

I found myself crying tears of joy when Gov. Abercrombie picked up a koa pen, signed the hard-fought Marriage Equality bill and declared, “Done!”

Later I cried for a different reason. How can the world see the devastation in the Philippines and not shed tears?

We in Hawaii are so intimately bound to our brothers and sisters in the Philippines. Filipinos are the heart of our local communities.

They are our families and our neighbors, our lawmakers, our businesspeople, our friends.

We love that nation of beautiful people and it hurts to the soul to witness the devastation.

But we have to do more than cry. We have to help. And the best way for people like us to help is by donating money.

Do not donate teddy bears, or canned food, or breast milk or clothing.

The relief organizations need money in order to get critical supplies and services to critical areas.

Here are some of the most effective organizations:

UNICEF: unicefusa.org/ The International Committee of the Red Cross: icrc.org/eng/index.jsp

The Philippines Red Cross: redcross.org.ph/

The World Food Program: wfp.org/

Catholic Relief Services: crs.org/

Doctors Without Borders: doctorswithoutborders.org/

Save the Children: savethechildren.org/

If you donate to these organizations you can be sure your dollars are going toward essentials such as food, water, antibiotics, pain killers, vaccines, tents, hygiene kits, clothing, toiletries.

Please stick to established, credible charity organizations. These tragedies always bring out the unscrupulous and the scammers. * And while we’re talking about credible organizations, I have an appeal for a need right here at home.

The Hawaii Foodbank is asking for help as its supplies dip dangerously low. Polly Kauahi, Vice President and COO of the Foodbank, says, “We started the holiday season with only an eight-day supply of food, down from a 12-day supply the week before. We haven’t been this low in November in recent history.”

Kauahi says the last time inventory was this low was February of last year.

She adds that one of the best ways to help fill the empty shelves is to participate in a holiday food drive or host a food drive.

And of course, you can always write a check.

That will help keep the shelves stocked with food through the end of the year.

If you’d like to see how your donation is helping, Kauahi says, “You can see our weekly inventory and download a how-to-do-a-food-drive packet at hawaiifoodbank.org. Or email fooddrive@hawaiifoodbank.org”