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The Balikbayan Ark Project

  • Nov 13 / 2013
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The Balikbayan Ark Project


As you know, the slew of disastrous events that ravaged the Philippines have left people in despair and in need of essential items. To combat hunger and chaos, multiple organizations across the world have begun sending help. Within the United States, Filipino-American college organizations have been mobilizing their own efforts as well. It is now time for The University of Illinois at Chicago to leave its mark. Let us band together as a university. Let us come together and do our part. Let us make an impact. As the Filipino-American organization on campus, we (Filipinos In Alliance) have decided to create this portal to spearhead a couple of ways one may donate to the cause. There are options for monetary donation and essential items donation. Lastly, at the bottom of the page you will find a link to the Philippine Red Cross where you may also donate to the large-scale cause. For questions regarding expansion and/or different donation processes, please contact Jeffrey Alton at jalton@uic.edu or J.r. Ellasos at president@fiauic.org.

Option One:
 Advancement for Rural Kids (Monetary Donation)

Advancement for Rural Kids (ARK) is a grassroots organization created by Ayesha Vera-Yu and Jerry Topitzer that focuses on feeding hungry children and communities in the Philippine islands. Throughout the years, they’ve put together a talented team that has completely turned around elementary schools, created a parent-sponsor feeding relationship and significantly lowered the elementary dropout rate. Recently with the wrath of Typhoon Haiyan, the communities they helped have been completely ravaged and the people living there are without essential needs. They now need our help more than ever. Below, you will find a video detailing ARK’s work and a link to their website where one may donate and learn about the organization. If there are any questions or concerns, please contact Jonathan Caliso, the Vice-President External of Filipinos In Alliance at vpexternal@fiauic.org.


ARK Donation Page:  http://bit.ly/1cVtjNt

ARK Website:  http://ruralkids.org


Option Two: The FIA Balikbayan Box Project | “A Time To Give” (Essential Items Donation)

The FIA Balikbayan Box Project is a drive that came to fruition by a collaboration between UIC’s Asian American Resource and Cultural Center and Filipinos In Alliance. Balikbayan boxes are large cardboard containers that are used to transport essential items such as ready-to-eat canned food, non-perishable food, climate-appropriate clothing and bacterial soap. The boxes are then shipped to the Philippine islands via freight ships and cargo planes. This process is a sure-fire and quick way to send help to the Philippine people. Filipinos In Alliance urges The University of Illinois at Chicago to donate items because the Philippine people need help now more than ever. The project will be up and running until December 6, 2013. One may drop off items destined for Balikbayan Boxes at the Asian American Resource and Cultural Center located in Taft Hall between the hours of 9 AM – 5 PM | Monday through Friday. More university drop-off locations will be announced as time goes on. Below, you will find a link to the project’s Facebook Event. If there are any questions or concerns, please contact Michelle Aggacid, the Cultural Awareness Chair of Filipinos In Alliance at awareness@fiauic.org.

Facebook Event:  http://on.fb.me/1apWX94


Alternative Option: The Philippine Red Cross

The Philippine Red Cross is currently coordinating a nationwide effort to bring relief to the Philippine islands. They are asking for monetary donation through various pathways. You may donate via the Red Cross website, Facebook and even Apple Inc. Below, you will find various Red Cross donation portals.

Philippine Red Cross (Main Website):  http://bit.ly/cPJ9bL

Apple (iTunes Red Cross Portal):  http://bit.ly/4OXF08


As one of the largest universities in Chicago, we can make a lasting impact. As the Filipino-American organization on campus, we urge one and all to join the cause and bring relief to those in need. Let us make a difference. We can start today!



Filipinos In Alliance Staff
Filipinos In Alliance | 2013 – 2014
University of Illinois at Chicago