INQUIRER SOUTHERN LUZON

Storm victims take spot in aid drive

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LUCENA CITY—Traditional donors such as big companies, businessmen and civic groups of the Army’s 4th Light Armor Battalion (LAB) based in Camp Nakar have shifted to helping the thousands of victims of Typhoon “Pablo” in Mindanao.

Lt. Col. Thomas Sedano Jr., head of the 4th LAB, said donors have chosen to prioritize the victims in Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental.

“The Mindanao victims deserve all the help, especially this Christmas season,” he said in a recent interview.

He said the Army’s 4th LAB originally targeted 5,000 family beneficiaries but with Pablo, the battalion and its men managed to collect Christmas goodies for only 1,000 indigent families in Quezon and nearby provinces.

The soldiers’ Yuletide project “Noche Buena Mo, Nasa Shoebox Ko” filled shoe boxes with half a kilogram of spaghetti, 560 grams of spaghetti sauce, 260 grams of corned beef, 175 grams of cheese and 60 grams of iced tea powder.

It was spurred by the success of “Project Shoebox,” which the 4th LAB and Sigma Alpha sorority members from the University of the Philippines Los Baños initiated early last year.

The project was able to collect and deliver school supplies to children in some of the remotest and most impoverished areas of Southern Luzon.

Sedano said his battalion started the distribution of the Yuletide food boxes to selected indigent families in Quezon, Rizal and Camarines Sur on Dec. 20.

But an executive of a local hospital in Lucena turned the table around and made the foot soldiers beneficiaries of the hospital’s Christmas project dubbed “Shoebox for Heroes.”

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