Titans Lend a Hand in the Philippines

Nov. 19, 2013             

BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— Teodora Amoloza, IWU professor of sociology, has a vision: a green and white Titan-themed house standing above the wreckage of typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan). While this natural disaster has left areas of the Philippines in ruins since it hit the province of Eastern Visayas on November 8, Amoloza hopes that the mobilizing, widespread relief efforts will reach the homeless and grieving Filipino families so close to her own.

“This experience is a sobering reminder of the country's vulnerability to typhoons like Haiyan,” said Amoloza. “If the typhoon had veered north, my province would have been more severely affected.  More importantly, this is a sobering reminder that we should take the call to address climate change very seriously!”

Amoloza, whose sister is part of the relief effort in the Philippines, has reached out to the IWU Tinikling student dance group, which performs the national dance of the Philippines, as well as the Phi Beta Delta International Honor Society to organize relief fundraisers. Students from these organizations will staff tables during the lunch hour to collect donations on Wednesday, November 20 through Friday November 22 in three locations – the Dugout, the stairs leading to the Bertholf Commons (Saga) and the Center for Natural Sciences (CNS) Commons. Amoloza and others are encouraging the entire campus community to visit a booth this week and donate.

As an alternative, checks can be made payable to GK –USA with “IWU Donation” in the memo line and sent to Amoloza in the Center for Liberal Arts (CLA) 230.  She will send all donations to GK-USA following the Thanksgiving holiday.

“No amount is too small – even spare change when put together will add up,” Amoloza said.

The sociology professor has made a connection with a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in the United States that is connected to an NGO in the Philippines called Gawad Kalinga (GK), which mobilizes when there is a disaster. Amoloza has encouraged the community to visit their website titled “Operation Walang Iwanan (No One Left Behind)” and click on the “Who We Are” tab to learn more about the organization.

The not-for-profit organization in the United States is called GK-USA, and they are in the process of setting up a fundraising account in Illinois Wesleyan’s name to funnel all donations from the University. It is Amoloza’s hope that IWU’s efforts will be put toward a long-term relief goal: $3,400 to build one new home for an affected family in the Philippines. The house will ultimately be painted Titan green and white.

Thanks to the impetus from Amoloza, students and other members of the IWU community have started collection boxes across campus. However, the professor is still urging faculty members to create awareness in their classrooms and in the hopes of getting even more students involved.

In response to IWU efforts, Amoloza said, “I may not be able to acknowledge all donations individually, so please accept in advance my sincerest thanks for helping the Filipino people in this time of need!”

Contact: Hannah Dhue, ’15, (309) 556-3181, univcomm@iwu.edu