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New Life Community Care Feeds and Assists Taal Volcano Eruption Victims
For a period of nine days, the New Life Community Care Foundation International, Inc. (NLCOM) and its personnel worked hard to take special care of the many evacuees of the Taal Volcano Eruption (which happened on January 12, 2020) in the province of Batangas
It was there where the NLCOM’s very own mobile kitchen was set up. With precision, careful management of resources and dedication to help the evacuees, the team behind the mobile kitchen produced several hot meals daily during the nine days feeding a whole lot of evacuees who had no choice but to leave their respective communities behind.
According to NLCOM’s program assistant Thessa Joy Jimenez, a total of 52,000 hot meals were served to the evacuees who came from varied communities affected by the January 12 eruption. Mathematically, the mobile kitchen produced an average of more than 5,600 meals per day (breakfast and dinner specifically). This was made possible by having the sophisticated food preparation equipment and sufficient supplies of food and ingredients collected from their donors. The feeding is just one form of NLCOM’s assistance for the evacuees.
Along the way, their team coordinated closely with the local authorities and helped keep things in order. Their assistance to the evacuees was not limited to feeding as they also provided them with hygiene kits, grocery bags and medical services. They also interacted closely with the local community members with a strong focus on helping. These recent acts were in accordance to the NLCOM’s core approach of Respond-Reach Out-Rebuild.
“During calamities, we organized training for the congregants and the volunteers involved in our foundation. We reached out by doing relief operations, medical missions and the mobile kitchen operation to help those who got affected. We rebuild by means of doing livelihood assistance for them,” Jimenez said during my interview with her at their office.
Behind the scenes, NLCOM responded quickly to the eruption by communicating first with the local authorities in Batangas. At their facility inside Alabang Hills Village, their team organized a huge collection of relief goods and cash from their donors (including churches within New Life’s own network), carefully arranged all the relief goods (which include the sleeping mats, blankets and water to name some) in a very orderly fashion, and piled up all the needed supplies before making the long trips to Batangas. Their team was led by their Executive Director Edwin Tugano.
“Our initial plan for the Taal Volcano eruption operation was to operate for three days which was followed by an extension of two days. This was in response to the local authorities’ request for more assistance,” Jimenez said. “Shortly after, our operation became seven days all of which were in Bauan. After that, our team rested and eventually returned to Batangas to serve other barangays in different evacuation areas for two days. Breakfast meals were provided during those two days.”
Ultimately, the volcano eruption victims were happy with all the assistance they received. Jimenez recalled that after the seventh day, the victims were very thankful to NLCOM and there were some who verbally expressed their love to them.
“They were very thankful and we could tell through their personal expressions and their hugs to us,” she said. “We really saw the positive impact we made to them. It was all a very heartwarming experience for us all. Tiring but very fulfilling.”
Regarding NLCOM’s volunteers, Jimenez said that they consistently orient them with disaster preparedness methods, group assistance and working closely with the victims and local authorities. Then on February 19, NLCOM completed another distribution of relief goods for Taal Volcano eruption victims (four hundred families) in Barangay Barigon, Agoncillo, Batangas. They assessed the homes that were damaged (partially or totally) from the disaster.
To date, New Life Community Care continues to engage with its partners, its own network of churches and outreach units, and the varied local authorities around the nation. For the future, Jimenez confirmed to me that NLCOM is continuing its preparation of provisions for further emergency operations as well as maintaining contact with varied authorities and planning what could be the next step to take for future assistance.
Truly New Life Community Care lives up to its name and has an undeniable record of assistance for those who badly need it.
What is New Life Community Care?
New Life Community Care is a foundation, operating exclusively for charitable and social welfare purposes. While associated with New Life Alabang, it is separate and has an independent board.
New Life Community Care is a non-stock, non-profit organization registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) with registration number CN200323699. It is also registered with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) with registration number DSWD-SB-RL-001582015. Their website is at www.nlcom.org.ph
How Did It Start?
It began in 2003 when their Senior Pastor Paul Chase was led to respond to the needs of street children who were abandoned and neglected. The NLCOM eventually partnered with the City Government of Muntinlupa to take care of the said children.
Ten years later, super typhoon Yolanda (internationally referred to as Haiyan) overwhelmed the Philippines very hard, especially the regions south of Luzon. Tacloban City in the province of Leyte got hit so hard, people lost their homes and belongings, their lives got terribly disrupted and there were several casualties. The damage was so immense, Tacloban caught the attention of the whole world.
In response to the disaster, Senior Pastor Paul Chase and some volunteers of the church came to Tacloban to provide much needed help. This resulted the creation of a makeshift kitchen at the said city and went on to produce six thousand hot meals daily for school children there.
You must be wondering: how was New Life’s team able to create such a high number of meals every day back then? The answer is this: New Life Alabang partnered with Rev. Kim Beam Kon of Truly Good Friends Foundation from South Korea. The joint effort resulted a feeding program that lasted for a year and led to the establishment of the New Life Community Care Foundation.
Along the way, Senior Pastor Paul Chase envisioned the local church to stand in the gap, step up to meet the need and demonstrate God’s love by responding, reaching out and rebuilding the lives of families and communities in the event of disasters. In times of disaster, New Life church provides manpower to NLCOM to enable it to assist victims.
The Foundation’s program is structured this way: Respond to the immediate needs of disaster victims by providing food, relief goods, medical services and executing rescue operations. Reach out with their pro-active volunteers who engage in raising awareness and increasing the knowledge and skills of families, churches and communities on preparing them for disasters and teaching them how to respond during those times. Rebuild by helping the victims by means of clearing the debris, providing shelter kit materials and assisting families and the local communities in the repair and reconstruction of the properties that got damaged from the disaster.
Let me end this post with these three scriptures from the Holy Bible.
Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
Galatians 6: 2 (NKJV)
For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.
Hebrews 6: 10 (NKJV)
We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification.
Romans 15: 1-2 (NKJV)
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