Ross Alums Use Social Media, Crowdfunding to Help Typhoon Relief Efforts


It wasn’t long after moving to the Philippines that Ross alums Aileen Payumo and her husband, Ryan Whishant (MBAs ‘10), found themselves in the middle of two natural disasters: an earthquake in October, and Typhoon Haiyan, which struck earlier this month with a rising death toll that currently exceeds 3,600 people.

Faced with the devastating aftermath, the two immediately began using their business savvy to organize relief efforts, recruit volunteers, raise funds, and chronicle the experience on social media to help raise awareness and find more support.

UPDATE (Nov 18): Since launching their crowdfunding campaigns, they’ve raised more than $11,000, recruited hundreds of volunteers, and packaged more than 14,000 relief bags filled with water, food and letters of support written by first-graders.

Relief for the typhoon in the Philippines
Pictures from the relief efforts organized by Ross Alums

On Facebook, Payumo keeps supporters updated on the progress of the efforts, including what they’re buying with donations, when the supplies reach the survivors in need, and touching accounts of the impact their work is having.

As one volunteer said on the page: “I’m speechless at the outpouring of support. Drivers, waiters, bankers, students, kids too young to be students, yayas, singers, bar owners, bouncers, old ladies chatting while repacking rice, that kid who was putting cards his class made in every bag, telling them that they are praying for them, they were all here.

“They don’t know the people who will be receiving the help, they just know that there are people hurting and in despair, and that these goods are going to them.”

If you’d like to help Payumo and Whishant with their efforts, you can donate to their Fundly campaign here, and follow the progress of your donation on their Facebook page.

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