Thousands of volunteers joined donation centers across the south yesterday to help collect and distribute items for flood victims, with some centers asking the public to hold off on making donations of goods for a few days.
More than 600 Bulletin Board System users in Kaohsiung and another 400 volunteers joined Kaohsiung City Government efforts, helping by unloading, separating and boxing up goods donated by residents of Kaohsiung and elsewhere.
The city hall lobby and front corridor were filled with thousands of boxes of goods ranging from bottled water to blankets, canned food, clothes, toiletries, flashlights and batteries.
Throughout the day, the volunteers stood in long lines, passing along boxes to transport them in and out of the building.
Huang Chao-huan (黃招換), deputy director-general of Kaohsiung City Government’s Social Affairs Bureau, estimated that at least 40 busloads of goods were distributed to disaster-affected communities around the county on Monday and yesterday.
Huang said the city government was no longer accepting bottled water and hot food at the moment but was still accepting other items.
Tainan County’s donation center said it had received more than 1,600 boxes of bottled water but was in dire need of medical supplies, canned food and flashlights.
In Taitung County’s Taimali Township (太麻里), organizers asked the public to stop donating all items for now because the donation center did not have space to store it. The public can check the Internet for information on what goods the township needs and when.
TVBS on Monday held a telethon featuring a handful of celebrities and entertainers, including singer Pauline Lan (藍心湄), who auctioned one of her designer bags for NT$450,000, and musician Huang Kuo-lun (黃國倫), who donated NT$500,000.
Non-profit organizations that are accepting donations:
1. The Buddhist Compassionate Relief Tzu Chi Foundation
postal account No: 06887791
2. The Red Cross Society of the Republic of China
postal account No. 14341596
3. World Vision Taiwan
postal account No. 15752467
4. City and county donation centers:
Pingtung County (08) 736-5600
Kaohsiung City and County (07) 337-3366
Tainan County (06) 511-5692
Chiayi County (05) 362-2119
China Television Co, the Public Television Service and Hakka TV will also hold telethons in collaboration with the Red Cross Society of the Republic of China.
Meanwhile, President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) telephoned 11 local government heads in central and northern Taiwan yesterday, asking them to provide resources to the areas hit hardest by Morakot.
Presidential Office Spokesman Wang Yu-chi (王郁琦) said Ma made the calls yesterday morning after talking to Premier Liu Chao-shiuan (劉兆玄). He talked to Taichung Mayor Jason Hu (胡志強) and 10 other county commissioners and city mayors, Wang said.
Wang said Ma asked them to supply manpower, resources and machinery to the relief efforts, to which the local heads said they had begun doing so one or two days ago.
Wang said National Fire Agency Director-General Huang Chi-min (黃季敏) was coordinating the resources to ensure they are allocated effectively. Liu has designated Minister Without Portfolio Tsai Hsun-hsiung (蔡勳雄) to mediate if necessary, Wang said.
ONE DAY’S PAY
Also yesterday, the Presidential Office asked its employees to each donate one day’s pay to the relief funds.
The donations will go to government purchases of daily necessities for flood victims and to reconstruction projects, the office said. It said the amount was small but should set an example.
Meanwhile, Taipei City, spared from the devastation, set up a relief account yesterday for residents to donate money.
City employees were encouraged to donate one day of pay. In addition, Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) donated NT$100,000.