Amazing. In 5 hours we not only reached the $500 goal but blew past it, and by the time of this post, we're looking at $690 in funds raised for hurricane victims in the Philippines. Folks have given from three continents (that I'm aware of), from Taipei City to DC to Canterbury, UK. And the $25 backer reward has been quite popular - gotta love that chicken adobo :)
We have one more day to go. After consulting with a number of contacts in the Philippines, I am now 99% certain that the proceeds will go directly to the Jesuits in the Philippines (http://www.jesuits.ph/articles/help_the_victims_of_typhoon_ondoy). Please note that their work is *not* evangelical. It is purely aid-based (food, bottled water, canned goods, and medication), and my family and I have many personal contacts within the organization who know the money will be applied maximally to aid, rather than overhead. They also have a branch in the heart of New York, so I can give them a check directly. I'm now penning the thank you email that I will send to each of you.
Please continue to spread the word! I'd be thrilled to see us reach $1000 by this time tomorrow. That's nearly 50,000 pesos, and let me tell you, that's going to go a long, long way. According to one source on Wikipedia, the daily income for nearly half the population of the Philippines is less than two dollars. That's $730 a year, which is almost what we've raised so far.