For thousands of people in the Philippines this Christmas comes with a lot of heartache. Communities are continuing to rebuild after deadly Typhoon Haiyan.
The Richmond non-profit, Children Incorporated, is heading to the islands to help, but along with the funds they've collected they're also giving victims a special message. Children Incorporated is sponsoring about 200 children in the Philippines, but they're getting people here in Richmond to write notes of hope.
Many notes are coming from students at Bettie Weaver Elementary. The letters are addressed to children in Tacloban, all of them are survivors of the typhoon.
"Remember, home is in your heart. Your friend in America," writes one child.
"You should never give up on life no matter how hard it gets. Your friend in America, Michael," writes another child.
"If you keep your hopes up good things will come. You're friend in the USA, Tyler," writes another child.
Ashton Stinson will hand deliver the cards, she leaves the day after Christmas.
"What we wanted to do with the notes of hope was directly connect people and let the people in the Philippines know there is someone that's thinking about you," says Stinson.
For years, the non-profit, which has been in Richmond for five decades, has sponsored children in the Philippines. Money from donors helps provide basic needs including food, clothes and education. But, the center volunteers with Children Incorporated worked out of has been destroyed. And now the need is for: homes, furniture and even medical supplies.
The organization hopes to raise $25,000 for the children they work with, they're half way there.
"Now it's the beginning to a very long road to recovery," says Stinson.
It's a long road to recovery but along the way there are encouraging words coming from children half a world away.
You can Tweet your note to Children Incorporated by
You can mail the notes to Children Incorporated at:
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