CNMI Lt. Governor: Donate To Whomever You Wish

By Frauleine S. Villanueva

SAIPAN, CNMI (Saipan Tribune, Aug. 20, 2015) – Lt. Gov. Ralph DLG Torres clarified yesterday theInos administration’s comment regarding donations being sent to the CNMI through various organizations.

"The administration’s concept to receive donations is aimed at providing a clear and central location for funding with the hope of supporting the goals of our many community organizations," Torres said in a statement yesterday.

"If you have something to donate to this recovery effort, I strongly hope and pray that you do and do so in whatever way and to whoever you wish," he added.

Last week, Gov. Eloy S. Inos said he would recommend all donations to be coursed through the government so that there will be a "measure of accountability" but he also made it clear that it is "up to the donor."

"I want to apologize if there was any confusion on the intention of the government efforts regarding donations and clarify that the administration does not want to diminish or disparage the hard work and contributions done by the many wonderful nonprofit and community organizations during our path recovery," Torres said.

He praised those who participate day in and day out to rebuild the island and serve the needs of the community without compensation.

"The volunteers of the many organizations should be supported with our thanks, our time, and whatever donations are available," he added.

Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster

Yesterday, various non-profit groups and faith-based organizations met for the second time to discuss and consolidate relief work being done and supplies being sent to Saipan.

Organizations such as Karidat, grassroots volunteer group United4Saipan, Empty Vessel Ministry which gives out clothes and items, and individuals such as Gerri Willis and Kate Campbell, who set up the information site, gathered at Chalan Piao with Federal Emergency Management Agency-Pacific Area Office voluntary agency liaison Michael Kern to talk about how to better serve the community.

The group discussed taking care of immediate needs of residents as well as long-term recovery efforts such as helping rebuild houses.

Among the pressing matters that they talked about was finding a warehouse that they can use to store the container-loads of relief items that are expected to arrive on Saipan from Hawaii, Guam, as well as from the U.S. mainland. A place where volunteering can be centralized is also being looked at.

"We know the stuff is going to come so we need to figure it out," Kern said. "I’m hopeful that by this weekend we’ll have it figured out."

Matthew Deleon Guerrero, chief of staff of the Office of the Lieutenant Governor, was also present at the meeting.

"We want to help wherever we can and if there is a need for some coordination, if there is a need for some donation management training, if there is a need for a location and shelters for the goods then we are more than willing to be able to provide," Deleon Guerrero said.

Saipan Tribune 
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