Typhoon Haiyan may be out of the news headlines, but it remains in the hearts and minds of people in the Shuswap.
The Pulsifers are one Salmon Arm family which thinks daily of the Philippines.
Lib Pulsifer was raised in Manila, about an hour’s flight north of Tacloban, a city of a quarter million people that was flattened by the typhoon. Lib’s family immigrated to Canada in 1979 to escape the Marcos regime.
Her father Justo Angeles lives in Toronto but has been visiting in Salmon Arm. He was born in Tacloban.
Lib says her family has distant relatives on her grandmother’s side in Tacloban, as well as family, extended family and friends in Manila.
The Pulsifers visit the Philippines regularly.
“My father was asking me how he could connect and find out what happened to them,” Lib says of the relatives in Tacloban.
There’s no power there, points out Craig, Lib’s spouse.
“It’s something, I think, we fail to grasp –it’s going to be years to recover. It’s not like, ‘I did my bit and it’s on to the next.’”
Asked how the typhoon has affected him living in Canada, Lib’s father says, through her:
“He feels very sorry for the people that have lost loved ones and for the people that are affected, have lost their homes. There is this feeling of overwhelming helplessness because we’re so far, but he says he’s hoping that the help will get to them and it’s so important that we help out. He’s very thankful to the community money that was raised here and was sent.”
Lib and Craig both say they have been amazed by Salmon Arm residents’ generosity.
“It’s humanity reaching out, and that just warms my heart,” says Lib.
More than $7,000 has been raised locally, $3,000 of that from bottle and can recycling alone, the Pulsifers say.
The funds go to the disaster relief fund of Action International Ministries.
According to its website, “Action works… to reach people for Christ (evangelism), train them in Christian living (discipleship), and assist them in their physical and economic needs (development).”
The Pulsifers will be heading to the Philippines in January – and paying for their own airline tickets, they emphasize – where they can put funds directly into the hands of aid workers.
To help, residents may drop off cans and bottles at Hanna & Hanna’s, donate online or, to give funds directly, email Lib at firstname.lastname@example.org.