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A literal Kick Start for the Philippines!

This past weekend, a group of about 50 soccer players came out to help us “Kick Start” the Philippines! We held a 6v6 soccer tournament on Drexel University’s campus and had an awesome time playing soccer in the sun. We played with balls that were donated to us with help from Synchro-Development Corp. Each ball used in the tournament will have a match ball sent to the Philippines by Pass It Forward Soccer. In addition to the great weather and great soccer-filled atmosphere, we were able to surpass our fundraising goal with this tournament!
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We would like give a special thanks to everyone who volunteered to help on Saturday:
Jose Alvarez
Jason Frandi
Matthew Liscovitz
Raffy Marano
Chelsea Morgan
Kailee Peskin
Celina Ponte
Vince Spigonardo
Katie Van Aken
Ben Van Son
Thanks to the T-shirt Designer: Sal Bigay
Congratulations to the Kick Start the Philippines team and a huge thank you to our players and donors for the support!
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A Time for Reflection

It is easy to forget what people are going through when they are living their life on the other side of the world. As the Kick Start team finalizes its plans for the soccer tournament this weekend, they are even more inspired by this amazing video that captures the reasons behind this effort. Please watch the video and visit the donation site to learn more: http://www.kickstartthephilippines.myevent.com/3/donate.htm

 

Also, here is a great video to watch that can help remind us what we are doing and why: http://www.upworthy.com/a-seriously-bright-idea-thats-giving-an-amazing-new-purpose-to-something-we-usually-throw-away?c=fea

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The Aftermath: 5 Months Later

It has only been five months since the biggest storm in Philippine history hit the Visaya Islands in the central Philippines.
  Hurricane Katrina Hurricane Sandy Typhoon Yolanda
Date August 2005 October 2012 November 2013
Landfall New Orleans, USA New Jersey, USA Visayas, Philippines
Wind Speed at Landfall 125 mph 80 mph 235 mph
Immediate Fatalities 1,833 286 6,000; 27,000 missing
Domestic Government Assistance $120.5 billion $3.2 billion $17,000
Recovery Time 9 Years; continues to rebuild in 2014 2 years; continues to rebuild in 2014 5 months; continues to rebuild in 2014
Based on the table, Typhoon Yolanda was almost 6 times more destructive in terms of lives lost, and is receiving only a fraction of government help. Undeveloped countries deal with problems that American’s can’t fathom such as corrupt governments and scamming charity fundraisers. Because of this, victims of Yolanda are relying on private philanthropic efforts to rebuild the Visayas and help those who lost everything.
5 months seems like a long time from across the world. It is longer than a semester of college, longer than the NBA regular season, and longer than Pennsylvania winter. Imagine spending those 5 months still searching for a lost relative, or starting to rebuild and getting hit by 3 more storms. If Hurricane Katrina is any indicator, recovery efforts will be necessary for years to come, and all we can do is make sure that help does not cease to be given.
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New Fundraising Website and Link

Hey Everyone!

We have launched a new fundraising website! This is for Philly and non-Philly folk alike who cannot make it to our events. Now it is easy to be a part of Kick Start the Philippines from anywhere in the world! Donate to Kick Start

In other news, we just reached 100 likes on our Facebook page! Although there was no party to celebrate, we are pleased to know that word of our work is spreading and we hope it continues into the future!

 

Stories of Survivors

ABS-CBN News has done a great job documenting the stories of those who survived the Typhoon and you all should take a look: http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/specials/3disasters

Here an excerpt from the article:

Estoya, who lived near the sea, was aware of the dangers of a strong typhoon. Their house had been flooded before.

 

She packed her bags and prepared to leave.

 

However, her daughter, Victoria, refused to leave her small store behind. Bernardo, Rowena’s husband, also refused to leave the house.

Her two other sons also stayed behind.

 

She had no choice but to leave her two children and her husband. Accompanied by her grandson and daughter-in-law, Estoya went to a convention center in Palo.

 

“Had I known that that was the last time that I will see them, I should have forced them to come with me,” she said.

 

Estoya said that they were cowering in fear inside the evacuation center when the typhoon destroyed it.

 

A Call to Alms

Dear Friends,

As we enter the season of giving alms, we hope that you will consider making a contribution to our efforts to help the Philippines rebuild after the devastating typhoon Yolanda hit in November 2013.
Please use the link below to make a donation! Send this link to families, friends, and anyone who would want to help! If you wish to donate, but do not have Visa or Mastercard, checks can be made payable to: Kick-Start the Philippines and mailed to Kick Start the Philippines Treasury, Drexel University Lebow 344, 3141 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 and addressed to Katie Van Aken.
Thank you again! Look out for another blog post with updates and info on upcoming fundraising events!
The Kick-Start Team
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