The entire AFT family is heartbroken by the loss of life and devastation caused by Super Typhoon Haiyan, and the AFT is prepared to help any way we can with recovery efforts, says AFT President Randi Weingarten.
"The magnitude of the destruction in the Philippines is staggering," she says. "Thousands have lost their lives, and many more have been injured, orphaned or separated from their families.
"We have many Filipino members in Baltimore, Md.; Louisiana; New York; New Jersey; California and throughout the United States who are desperately seeking information about family and friends. Toward that end, the AFT is in the process of setting up a toll-free hotline and an emergency email address to assist in any way we possibly can.
"The Philippines now faces the daunting task of rebuilding communities that have been left without essentials such as food, shelter, clean water, schools, healthcare, power and transportation. Many of our affiliates have asked us to provide any help we can in the recovery effort."
To help with those efforts, the AFT will:
- Actively solicit volunteers to assist in relief and recovery efforts, as we did in the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake in 2010.
- Send an immediate contribution of $10,000 to help get supplies and other assistance to those who need them most.
- Open up the AFT Disaster Relief Fund to help with ongoing recovery efforts, as we did during Superstorm Sandy and the Oklahoma tornadoes.
- Set up a toll-free hotline and an emergency email address to assist in any way we possibly can. For more information, call 888-238-2011 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Continue to work with our labor, healthcare and education partners to assist the Philippines on its road to recovery, which we know will be long and difficult.
"Natural disasters, whenever they occur, have the power to touch us all," Weingarten says. "In times like this, we realize we are citizens of the world and have a responsibility to help one another. We join with others throughout the world in sending our thoughts and prayers to the millions affected by this devastating tragedy."
[AFT press release]