Cagayan de Oro City – Student volunteers came together with faculty staff from Father Saturnino Urios University (FSUU) in Butuan City to spearhead a Storm Vinta disaster relief drive bringing food and water to this city on Christmas Eve.
“What we are doing is basically part of the school’s mission-vision, being a Catholic school, this is our way to show solidarity with the marginalized. As part of the FSUU Foundation, the relief goods that we brought to Cagayan de Oro City will be turned over to the Diocese, these are collected mostly from various donations. Another part of the relief goods is from our partnership with Caritas Manila,” said Rev. Father John Christian Young, President of FSUU.
Young pointed out that FSUU had already prepared and accepted donations for relief a few days before Tropical Storm Vinta made landfall, plowing through Davao Oriental and northeastern Mindanao on December 22 and the Caraga Region, among others.
ALL PHOTOGRAPHS BY ERWIN MASCARIÑAS.
“We immediately made assessment as to where to deliver the donated goods that we had collected over the past few days, we contacted the Diocese in Cagayan de Oro and thus we decided it would be more significant to give it out on Christmas Eve,” said Young, “as a way of reaching out Christ’s love especially where people need it the most.”
Jeffrey Clarin, chief executive officer of the FSUU foundation Inc., revealed that two trucks from a construction company in Butuan City volunteered to delivering the goods.
“We brought 1,566 food packs and several containers of much needed water. We received a donation from Caritas Manila of about 1,032 family packs consisting of 5 kilograms of rice, 3 packs of quick-cook noodles, three cans of sardines and five sachet of coffee mix. There were also 749 4-liter water containers and 206 6-liter containers.
“From FSUU Foundation, we gathered 534 family packs containing three kilograms of rice, 3 packs of noodles, 3 cans of sardines, 5 sachets of coffee, together with 294 6-liter and 198 5-liter water containers,” said Clarin.
Rev. Father Coke Dariel Prieto, Parochial Vicar of Saint Augustine Cathedral in Cagayan de Oro, said: “We are so thankful to the FSUU team and Fr. Young for facilitating the delivery of these relief goods, and Fr Anton Pascual of Caritas Manila.
“I just came from Barangay’s 18 and 17 earlier this morning, and we saw that many of them have yet to receive sufficient relief assistance, especially water. As of now several of the homes are caked with mud and debris, as they lack access to water for fully cleaning their houses.”
Prieto added that, “What FSUU has done is to bring Christ’s presence to the victims to the massive flooding. This is what the spirit of Christmas really is all about.”