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Bacolod City, Philippines Saturday, November 23, 2013
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Sending typhoon aid with love
BY CARLA GOMEZ

Danielle Rivera is 26 and is special.

And the love she exudes as she helps pack relief goods for the victims of typhoon Yolanda captured in a photo posted on the Facebook page of the Negrense Volunteers for Change, has gone viral.

The photo where Danielle, who has Down syndrome, is seen hugging a small bag of rice, has gotten 1,161 likes and 347 shares, so far.

Danielle, also known as Manang Ding, is one of the volunteer packers at an NVC assembly line for relief goods at the house of Millie Kilayko in Bacolod City.

She hugs every bag she packs because she wants to send her love along with it, she says.

Her mother, Jean Torre-Rivera, said she had been volunteering her services at the NVC food packing center and Danielle came along, and soon joined the assembly line manned by volunteers. Her fellow packers say she packs relief goods with a smile and sometimes sings and sways along with the music in the background.

Perhaps, the many volunteers’ messages of love written on the cans of sardines, and boxes of relief goods being sent off was contagious to all those who joined the assembly line.

When there is no mad rush to catch the next boat or load on the next truck, the volunteers find a little extra time to deliver a message on each can of sardines they send off. Written on them are messages that say “There is hope, God is alive. We love You”, or “Don’t give up, God is here. Have Faith”.

As of yesterday, the NVC has raised P7.8 million in donations for food packs of Mingo meals and for the victims of “Yolanda”, and 205 fishing boats to help fishermen get back on their feet.

Mingo is a nutritious instantporridge made of rice, mongo and malunggay, which a donor can buy to help children whose families have lost their homes to “Yolanda”. A P1,250 or $32 donation can provide a child with mingo meals for six months to prevent malnutrition in areas where their parents have yet to rebuild their homes and find jobs.

The NVC “Peter Project” is a campaign to raise funds to buy boats for fishermen, also in Yolanda-hit areas, who no longer have any means of livelihood after the typhoon destroyed their boats.

The 16 ft-18 ft boat with outriggers, including a 6.5 HP engine, costs P20,000 or US$500, which one or several persons can donate, Kilayko said.

NVC can be reached at http://www.nvcfoundation-ph.org.*CPG

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