How to help

Tacloban in the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan hit. Credit: Nove foto da Firenze via Flickr.

Note: I will try and update this post as I get new information about fundraisers, relief orgs, etc.

Update: 9:00pm Nov. 13

I learned of two Portland-area support events I thought I’d pass on:

Typhoon Haiyan Candlelight Vigil & Community Briefing
Thursday, November 14
5:30 pm Candlelight Vigil, Skidmore Fountain Plaza
6:00 pm Community Briefing, Mercy Corps Action Center

Fil-Am association of Portland Spaghetti feed Fundraiser
Friday, November 15
6:00 pm Fil-Am Association of Portland, 8917 SE Stark St, Portland

Also, another helpful list on what to donate, this one from the Philippines Red Cross.

_________

I’ve been touched by the number of friends reaching out to me to find out if I have family affected by Typhoon Haiyan. Yes, I do. The areas hardest hit include the place where my mom grew up. But luckily their hometown was protected from the worst effects. I have several close family members still unaccounted for as well as other distant extended family members who are affected. We’re hopeful, but really won’t know until we can hear from them directly. And my family is just one of millions who are experiencing this. My heart has been breaking watching the news coverage.

Here are two recent reports from different mainstream news outlets:

Distress Grows for Philippine Typhoon Victims Who Can’t Get Aid, or Out (New York Times) – also, they have some multimedia extras including photos (which can be difficult to look at) and maps

Typhoon Haiyan Devastates The Philippines – a landing page for NPR’s series of reports

Many are trying to figure out how they can help. While I don’t feel it’s my place to answer that (I think it’s a personal decision of where you want to put your effort), I will offer some of the resources I know about.

My parents and their friends in my hometown Cleveland Filipino-American community have been organizing and conducting medical missions in the Philippines for over 30 years through their APPO (Association of Philippine Physicians in Ohio) Foundation. I’ve even been on two of these missions myself. APPO is teaming up with their sister organization Philippine American Society of Ohio, a group I was a member of as I grew up in Cleveland. The folks running these orgs are my titas (aunties) and titos (uncles) and my childhood friends. I chose to donate through them because I know personally that they have on-the-ground contacts and are working hard to figure out the most meaningful way to help.

Here in Portland, progressive groups PCHRP and PSU Kaibigan Alumni Advisory Board have teamed up to raise funds through National Alliance For Filipino Concern (NAFCON).

Just found out that Portland’s Fil-Am Center is hosting a spaghetti fundraising dinner on November 15. Though Filipinos tend to have more than enough food at events, still a good idea to RSVP on their Facebook event page.

I also found this article by Jessica Alexander on Slate helpful, about how sending your old shoes is so NOT helpful. She was an aid worker was in Asia after the tsunami:

After the tsunami, similarly well-intentioned people cleaned out their closets, sending boxes of “any old shoes” and other clothing to the countries. I was there after the tsunami and saw what happened to these clothes: Heaps of them were left lying on the side of the road. Cattle began picking at them and getting sick. Civil servants had to divert their limited time to eliminating the unwanted clothes. Sri Lankans and Indonesians found it degrading to be shipped people’s hand-me-downs. I remember a local colleague sighed as we passed the heaps of clothing on the sides of the road and said “I know people mean well, but we’re not beggars.” Boxes filled with Santa costumes, 4-inch high heels, and cocktail dresses landed in tsunami-affected areas. In some places, open tubes of Neosporin, Preparation H, and Viagra showed up. The aid community has coined a term for these items that get shipped from people’s closets and medicine cabinets as SWEDOW—Stuff We Don’t Want.

So, please leave the victims some dignity and do not send SWEDOW. (My only directive.)

If you’re more of a visual person, the HowStuffWorks folks put together a slideshow on the 10 Worst Things to Donate After a Disaster.

More of a list person?  NBC has a roundup of web links to relief organizations.

dinner theatre for families!

For those of you in the Portland area with school age children, there’s a great family event benefiting a great children’s theatre company (admittedly I’m biased, as I’m on Portland Theatre Brigade’s board of directors – but really it is wonderful!).

Details:
Sunday, November 21
4:00pm
Curious Comedy Theater, 5225 NE MLK, Portland
Tickets: Kids under 16 $7, Adults $12
Pre-purchased tickets include grilled cheese and tomato soup! Purchase tickets here.
Sponsors: Curious Comedy Theater, The Waterbrook Studio, CheezyFlicks.com, Dave’s Killer Bread

The performers include two local actors and three professionals from across the country who all specialize in story theatre, having studied with the venerable Paul Sills, son of the godmother of improvisation Viola Spolin.

More details about the company and the dinner theatre event on the Portland Theatre Brigade website.

Give what you can

We all know that the global economy is in dire straits. I, for one, know that I’m counting my pennies and I certainly feel worried about what’s to come. When you’re thinking of cutting back, please consider maintaining or even increasing your giving to good non-profits. Supporting the work of non-profits is essential and you can consider it a worthy investment into your community. I always advocate supporting arts nonprofits because they tend to get left out of support despite the fact that the arts are proven to enhance learning in ALL areas. (Check out the awesome Right Brain Initiative.) Whatever you choose, just go and give what you can (say, $50 or $100) to an organization of your choosing.

If you need some ideas on who to give to this year, I’ve got some ideas.

Shameless solicitation of support for the organizations that pay my bills and orgs who I’ve committed myself to:

B-Word Worldwide/Bitch Magazine
– B-Word is the incredibly important and vital voice that brings you the most cutting and insightful feminist analysis of pop culture. I’m on the board and we’re currently looking at how to evolve as an organization and stay relevant in light of the changing media landscape. Join the Beehive!

Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center
– Wonderful, beautiful interdisciplinary arts center in North Portland that includes a gallery, theater, dance studio. The mission is to foster diversity in the arts and they support both emerging and established artists and serve the community at large with a range of education programs. I’ve admired IFCC since I arrived in Portland and am happy to report that I’m currently doing some contract work for them.

KBOO Community Radio – At 40, KBOO is one of the oldest community radio stations in the country. Portland is lucky to have such an amazing resource! KBOO has an eclectic, diverse programming lineup of news, public affairs, music and spoken word. Nearly all the programs are run by a dynamic group of volunteers. KBOO is powered by over 500 on-air and off-air volunteers, a member-elected board of directors and a small staff of 12 (full- and part-time). I work there part time and I’m also a volunteer with the radio collective APA Compass. (9am the first Friday each month!) Right now you can donate to KBOO through the Willamette Week’s Give! Guide and get lots of cool goodies!

Portland Theater Brigade – I grew up a drama geek and it certainly changed my life. PTB is an amazing young people’s theater program that not only teaches youth professional theater skills (using improvisation!! based on the work of the inimitable Viola Spolin), but empowers the students with opportunities for collaboration and leadership. I came on as Managing Director this year and it’s like I’ve come full circle.

Other cool orgs to consider supporting:

Beehive Collective – Another Beehive. The swarm’s mission: “To cross-pollinate the grassroots, by creating collaborative, anti-copyright images that can be used as educational and organizing tools.” Amazing mission, beautiful work.

Center for Asian American Media – My former stomping grounds. CAAM continues to do incredible work supporting Asian American media through funding, production, distribution and a dynamic festival.

In Other Words – A vibrant Portland feminist resource – bookstore, resource center and community space – is in trouble. They need to raise $11,000 by the end of the month to keep their doors open! Please support them if you can!

Oregon Cultural Trust – Did you know that you can match gifts to eligible cultural non-profits to the Trust and receive a 100% tax credit? That’s a tax CREDIT (way better than a tax deduction) and a great incentive to support Portland area nonprofit arts orgs. More info on the program here.

Two, count ’em two benefits!!

In case I didn’t get to spam you…

Two benefits I’m working on are coming up (in the same week, yikes) and I would love to see you there!

Benefit for Bitch Magazine
The Bitch Pub Quiz, Thursday June 5
Support what you love; come to Bitch’s first ever fundraising Pub Quiz! It’ll be a trivia-licious evening of questions, answers, games, music, and more! Quizmistress Toni Tabora-Roberts (yes, that’s me!) will test your knowledge of women and pop culture with everything from general-interest questions to name-that-tune brainteasers. You’ll expand your knowledge, get the chance to win some great prizes, and support the work of your favorite local feminist magazine. $5-$20 (sliding scale) per person to play–up to 6 people per team. Bring your friends, your competitors and some dough. For more information check out bitchmagazine.org or call 503-282-5699. Thursday, June 5, 6 p.m., Vita Cafe, 3024 NE Alberta, Portland.

Benefit for KBOO
Pink Martini Fundfest 2008 June 3-6 at the Crystal Ballroom
KBOO is one of the lucky beneficiaries of this year’s Pink Martini FundFest! Each year Pink Martini does a series of concerts to benefit four local non-profits. If you are interested, or if you’d like to tell other potentially interested folks about this great opportunity to support KBOO, let us know. The goal for this event is to raise $80,000 total or $20,000 for each of the four non-profits and 100% of the net proceeds go directly to the organizations.

In addition to the main concerts, there is a very special Patron Reception happening on Friday June 6 from 6-8pm at Lola’s Room. Pink Martini’s band leader Thomas Lauderdale will play Gershwin’s Rhapsody while folks mix and mingle with the band. Tickets are $100, $55 of which is tax-deductible. Patron ticket includes a ticket to the main concert at 8pm and is available directly through KBOO or Ticketmaster.

Of course, you can also support us by attending one of the main concerts. Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door. Those tickets are available through the Crystal Ballroom box office or through Ticketmaster.

More details about this event are available at kboo.fm.

Clowns Without Borders rocks!

Our friends jesikah and Thom were in town this weekend and fortunately they were very enthusiastic about joining us for the annual Clowns Without Borders benefit show at daVinci Arts Middle School.

Our good friend Sarah (who just finished her fabulous Nomadic Theatre show Running Into Walls which I wrote about in my previous post) was one of the main organizers and it was a truly wonderful show.

I remember last year’s being a smidge too long (okay, a lot too long). This year most of the acts got the clue and brought some really fun, clever performances. In my humble opinion I would say that most of the acts took some great leaps and bounds in evolving their work over the past year. Notables for me were Nomadic, Nanda (an energetic, amazing acro-performance troupe), and another act (can’t recall their names!), a duo who did clown, juggling and some funny stuff with a bowling ball, some of it in lovely pink tutus.

okay, it’s been a while, but i’ve been busy…

lots of stuff has been going on. at kboo we had an excellent fundraiser on halloween called boo bash. kboo’s night of the living tongue, a radio program that explores the bizarre and noise music and text world, hosted the evening which began with some very interesting experimental performances. the evening the evolved into more accessible danceable tunes. the bands i especially enjoyed Rainbow and the Kittens and Strength. and yes we raised a bunch of money for kboo. yay!

in my volunteer hat at kboo with apa compass radio collective we had a great show this month featuring apa women artists including dj anjali, spoken word artists yellow rage, and visual artists una kim and shu-ju wang. check out this link to hear an excerpt from the show which includes the live discussion with una and shu-ju.

saw the most excellent indie film, true to what i believe indie film can best be. as the name alludes, colma: the musical takes place in colma, a town close to san francisco and known for it’s large population of dead folks, and is indeed a musical. to sum up what i love about the film: 1) the writing (dialogue and music) is wonderful, not too clever, not too trite, not too serious; 2) the performances are nice by a likeable cast of beautiful real, interesting people, instead of the typical beautiful, beautiful people; 3) a testament to the true indie spirit, the cast and crew not only make do with the limited resources they excel with some gorgeous scenes including a lovely scene in a cemetery. here’s the trailer .