Community Papers

Young Pioneers off to Philippines

COMOX VALLEY RESIDENT Alex Bowman (right) and her Victoria friend Andrea Morris will lend their fundraising and construction skills to help victims of Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda. - PHOTO SUBMITTED
COMOX VALLEY RESIDENT Alex Bowman (right) and her Victoria friend Andrea Morris will lend their fundraising and construction skills to help victims of Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda.
— image credit: PHOTO SUBMITTED

A young Comox Valley woman is taking ‘giving’ to a whole new level this Christmas season.

While others will be enjoying their new Christmas gifts or sharing meals and drinks with friends and family, Alex Bowman and her friend Andrea Morris of Victoria will head to the Philippines to volunteer on a project rebuilding schools on the island of Bantayan, one of the many regions where Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda had a devastating effect on the land and its people.

“For us, it just seemed the right thing to do,” said Bowman.  “We all need each other in this world.”

Before they leave, Bowman and Morris are looking for all the help they can get in fundraising for such a worthy cause. Their goal is to reach $1,500 by the time they leave just after the New Year.

All donations will go directly to the volunteer organization they are joining for the project, Young Pioneer Tours. The money will be used to purchase school supplies, equipment, building materials, and anything else necessary to make the project as successful as possible.

The girls are using their own money for all their travel and personal expenses.

“We’re ready to get our hands dirty and blistered for an excellent cause,” said Morris. “It is the season for giving, so we’re really hoping that they realize the severity of the situation and turn some donation dollars to this monumental disaster.”

The two became strong friends after meeting at Camosun College, where they both attained business degrees last year.

“Even if people have already made a donation to the Philippines, and especially if they haven’t, this is a unique way to help out a nation in need and to know exactly how and where their money is being put to use,” added Bowman.

“And what better way than by helping to build schools?”

Santa Fe Elementary School will be the first of five schools that the girls and their volunteer group will rebuild.

As well as monetary donations, the girls are looking for items such as camping gear (which they would leave for the people of Bantayan once their volunteer work finishes), work gear (such as gloves to distribute to other volunteers and locals), “and most of all, words of wisdom and support,” said Bowman.

“We are merely two people; but together we are determined to make as significant an impact as possible,” said Morris. “Big or small, your donations and support will be deeply appreciated, not just by us but by the people of Bantayan.

"We’ve already done a lot of preparation work, but we’ll be very busy organizing and getting ready for this project through the Christmas season,” she added.

To support their cause, you can make your donation at www.youcaring.com/helpbringhope or by e-mailing hopeforbantayan@gmail.com.

— Young Pioneer Tours

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