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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Calling and calling, just waiting for any sign of hope in the Philippines

Kristine Faustino is asking Rogers, Bell and Telus to help families stay connected after Typhoon Haiyan by providing temporary free long distance to the Philippines.


When Typhoon Haiyan devastated the Philippines last Friday all my friends and family in Canada could think about is: are our loved ones safe? Did they make it? We felt so helpless, only able to watch on TV and pray for their safety. 
We are doing everything we can to fundraise and send support home. The assistance that is pouring in from across Canada is beautiful. 
A few days ago I learned that major American phone companies like AT&T are allowing free long distance mobile and landline calls and texts to the Philippines until November 30 to allow families to stay connected during the crisis. 
I started a petition asking Rogers, Bell and Telus if they would consider doing the same for the Filipino Canadian community. It is a small gesture that would mean so much and would provide peace of mind as we are all doing our best to send aid home. 
Constant communication during a crisis can mean all the difference for families. The news reports estimate 10,000 could have been killed. Many in Canada still don't know if their families have made it and finding them could be really hard especially since 600,000 people have been displaced. Even after you know they're safe it's still uncertain since now we hear that many survivors are getting sick, that they can't get food, and that security is deteriorating. 
Rogers, Bell and Telus, are already being generous. They've each made donations to the Red Cross, have set up text to donate programs, and Telus is allowing free long distance from landlines in Alberta and BC. Please sign my petition and ask the phone companies if they would go one step further by temporarily offering free calls from landlines and cellphones to help Filipino Canadians stay connected with our loved ones.
Thank you!
Kristine (KD) Faustino,
Calgary, Alberta
P.S. Below is a list of how each company is helping right now. Please forward to anyone you know in the Filipino Canadian community who would benefit from the below programs and free long distance to the Philippines if the phone companies agree!
- Free long distance calls from landlines only in Alberta and BC to the Philippines
- $ 100,000.00 donation ($50,000.00 to Red Cross and $50,000.00 through the Telus International Community Board)
- Text ROUGE or REDCROSS to 30333 to donate $5.00 to the Red Cross.'
- News stations TFC (channel 2602) and CNN International (channel 827) will be free for the next week.
- Text ROUGE or REDCROSS to 30333 to donate $5.00 to the Red Cross.
- $100,000.00 donation to the Red Cross.
- Several free news channels until November 24: GMA Pinoy TV (Channel 723), Filipino TV (Channel 725), GMA News TV (Channel 856 Fibe), GMA Pinoy TV (Channel 857 Fibe), The Filipino Channel (Channel 859 Fibe), Filipino TV (Channel 860 Fibe)
- Text ROUGE or REDCROSS to 30333 to donate $5.00 to the Red Cross.
- $50,000.00 donation to the Red Cross.
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