Project Ayudu raises $150K for CARE

By Daisy Demapan |Posted on November 03, 2015

Capping the 60-day fundraising effort called Project Ayudu, Tan Holdings president Jerry Tan presented a check for $150,000 to the Commonwealth Advocates in Recovery Efforts team yesterday at the Office of the Governor’s conference room.

The donation will be used in support of CARE’s efforts to rebuild homes destroyed by Typhoon Soudelor.

Project Ayudu (ayudu meaning “to help” in the Chamorro language) was spearheaded by Tan Holdings and its charitable arm, the Tan Siu Lin Foundation. The funds were raised through the sale of T-shirts with the “Project Ayudu Saipan” slogan. The T-shirts have become a regular sighting on Saipan since the storm.

Project Ayudu team leader Alex Sablan stated that the goal was to sell 10,000 T-shirts in the CNMI and Guam.
Tan stated, “This is a very important and special project for us. We actually launched the project about eight weeks ago. I told the team that Saipan victims need help now. Not next year and that’s why we wanted to get it done quickly. So we set an internal deadline of Oct. 31 and immediately went to work and I’m happy to share that we reached out to our friends in Guam and sold all our 3,000 shirts there.”

Tan shared that the efforts were split 70/30 and that Project Ayudu successfully sold their 7,000 share of shirts.

“I’m very proud of the people, the community and our business partners. I’m very glad that we are not alone during this time of disaster,” he said.

Tan expressed his gratitude to all those involved in recovery efforts. “I know there are people out there suffering and we want to recognize that and try to get the money out to CARE and see what they can do to help the victims.”

Jenny Hegland of CARE said the group is building capacity to begin work on the home repair and reconstruction element of its mission. The centralized Disaster Case Management program currently being run by the Red Cross will identify those individuals with the greatest unmet needs to be considered for rebuilding assistance through CARE.

“The case managers will help us identity individuals with unmet needs after the rest of the resources of the community have been exhausted. We will use our funds to assist with rebuilding based on needs. These are additional funds and an important first step in the rebuilding process is debris removal and so our immediate efforts are focused on the debris so that we can start rebuilding,” said Hegland.

The $150,000 donation will be spent through CARE’s Construction sub-committee on ancillary items such as nails, hammers, and other construction supplies and services that are needed in rebuilding the homes of typhoon victims.

Sablan extends his appreciation to those who made these recovery efforts possible including IT&E, Joeten Enterprises, Triple J Enterprises, Century Hotel, Shirley’s Coffee Shop, Sun Palace Hotel, I-Shop Stores, the Saipan and Guam community, and the many contributors who helped generate the funds.

This article was originally authored by Daisy Demapan of the Saipan Tribune and published on November 3rd, 2015. All rights, recognition and acknowledgment belong to the author and the Saipan Tribune.