But the damage to homes and livelihood was overwhelming. Hundreds of homes - many just thatched "nipa huts" -were severely damaged or washed out to sea completely without any kind of insurance or safety net. Most live “hand to mouth," only having 2-4 weeks of cash stuffed away for emergencies. Families soon had a real fear of starvation.
Stephen Freed, our Founder & CEO, visited to assess the damages to homes and our coconut trees after one of the typhoons. While reviewing clipboard spreadsheets in the hot sun, the true impact became all too real when one of the farmers came and stood quite close - - "I have nothing", she cried. He began to acknowledge her when she stopped him short and came closer still - "I lost everything. Help me." The group stood silent looking at the two of them. She stepped closer to Stephen. "HELP me!" Filipinas don't do that. He had nothing to say, except the one thing ... "We will."
We quickly rolled up our sleeves to help. We sent out our skilled workers to repair/rebuild homes and organized food distributions. We helped farmers clear fallen trees, planted new saplings, and provided them with a few months of cash and food.
2020 total impact:
196,572 lbs. of rice distributed to 2,206 families
336 homes repaired after typhoons
128 food boxes given to farmer families
2,500 coconut saplings planted
But the real heros are our loyal customers. Without you, none of this could have happened. Using our products allowed us to help this community through their most vulnerable and desperate times.
So from the entire Dignity staff...
"Salamat Po (a sincere "Thank You" in Tagalog) for supporting our community and breaking the chains of poverty & modern-day slavery."