Repost and Comment: The Honest Frustration of a Relief Volunteer

She only wanted to help.  But those in charge felt it was necessary to repack aid from overseas into their own packaging.  And then repack other goods sent by a rival agency.  Another appalling insight into what happens to many items sent by international organizations.

I felt ashamed to those countries whose efforts and their sense of urgency were undermined by the Philippine government who put their donations on hold, because what hasn’t yet been repacked isn’t considered counted.

Cherrey Mae Pancho Bartolata


The relief goods sent from Indonesia which were in packed pouches and ready for distribution had to be unpacked, re-sorted and segregated as assigned to us in our volunteer work. I couldn’t understand why it shouldn’t be sent to the typhoon victims right away. Almost all of us volunteers couldn’t understand why there wasn’t any sense of urgency and that the ‘ready-to-go’ goods were being delayed. And among those goods that we had already segregated, some had to be taken out from the sacks again because we were told that they shouldn’t be in a sack that had the label DSWD – they should have been in the sack that had the label NFA (National Food Authority). This was another cause of delay.

View Cherrey Mae Pancho Bartolata’s story in the original article at:

Aid Withheld in Tacloban (exclusive photo provided to Path 2 Us)
Aid Withheld in Tacloban (exclusive photo provided to Path 2 Us)
Bags passed out by Path 2 Us campaigner Melvin Samaniego have no room for labels!
Bags passed out by Path 2 Us campaigner Melvin Samaniego have no room for labels!

Lesson learned, I will no longer volunteer for the government. It is better to volunteer in the private sector.

Cherrey Mae Pancho Bartolata

We created www.Path2.Us to bypass this reprehensible behavior.  The campaigns we support are grass roots volunteers who are doing this because they simply want to help.  Notice in the photo above that the bags used by Melvin and Leilan Samaniego don’t even have any space for labels.   In fact, their family passes out relief aid to the people of Tapaz, Capiz often times without even giving out their names.  When asked where the food came from, Leilan’s brother, Father Lenjenie Arcan simply remarked, “It came down from heaven.”   Indeed it has, father.

This generous couple are only two out of several campaigners on our site who we are so proud to help support.  All these groups not only are trustworthy people, but are thoughtful enough to post photos showing our donors how their money is being used to aid those in need!

Learn more about Melvin and Leilan’s work in Tapaz, Capiz.

As of this writing, our campaigns finance the efforts of heroic men and women bringing relief to areas such as Tacloban, Leyte; Maribojoc, Bohol and Bantayan Island, Cebu.  We will post and support campaigns from any disaster zone worldwide.  Our motto for the Philippines is: “We Must Not Forget A Single Barangay”*

See all our current campaigns.


*A barangay is a district, roughly equivalent to a city council ward or parish in the United States.

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