It's #GivingTuesday! Following the crazy consumerism of Black Friday through Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday is an effort to bring everyone together for a national day of giving.
This year, the cause I will be supporting is much more personal. My parents were in the Philippines at the time of Typhoon Haiyan, and flew out of the typhoon danger zone to safety just before all flights were cancelled.
Not so lucky were the many people in my family's hometown of Sigma, a small, rural community in the province of Capiz. As in many parts of the Philippines, the typhoon caused significant damage and destruction there. Especially hard hit was the local elementary school - Ponsaran Elementary, named for my grandfather.
Right before the typhoon, my parents were in Sigma to help build a fence around the Eleodoro J. Ponsaran Elementary School, which has 120 students. But Typhoon Haiyan
not only destroyed the fence - it also destroyed much of the school building itself, including the entire roof. Because of the extensive damage, the government is considering closing the school, instead of repairing it. This will require the children to walk 7 kilometers to another school, in an area that is rural and mountainous.
The teachers and parents want to reconstruct the school. Local residents have volunteered to provide the labor. They just need the construction materials to repair the roof and rebuild the walls.
To help, my family has started a fundraiser
to supply the people of Sigma with the tools and materials necessary to help them to rebuild their town. The funds will be used to purchase locally-sourced lumber and construction materials to repair damage to the school. It will also be used for tents for temporary shelter, and to repair or construct new homes.
So for this Giving Tuesday, I hope you will consider a contribution to the Rebuilding Sigma Fund
12 Days of Polvoron Challenge!
And, to continue celebrating the Philippines this holiday season, I'm going to do 12 days of polvoron over the next month.
Polvoron is a kind of shortbread treat, a butter-heavy, milk sweet that is popular in the Philippines, particularly around the holidays. I've posted about it a couple times already, but this time, this month, I'm going to try to come up with 12 different variations.
I've really only stuck to the basic recipe before, so I'm not really sure what I'm going to come up, or how it's going to turn out. Me experimenting in the kitchen has the potential for really epic failure. I'm not, by any means, a polvoron pro. So if you have suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments!