The Marianas Visitors Authority turned over $44,000 to Karidat Social Services last March 27, the balance of donations collected by the tourism office in the Mariana and abroad under its #MarianasSTRONG campaign following Super Typhoon Yutu.
The donations will be used by the non-profit organization in its continuing disaster recovery services to the community.
“Karidat is very grateful for this generous donation that will be used to help make families whole following the devastation of Super Typhoon Yutu. For some families it will take years to fully recover,” said Karidat executive director Lauri Ogumoro.
“Karidat is blessed to have a strong partnership with [the Federal Emergency Management Agency] and non-profit agencies who are now helping us to implement the VALOR program, which was first initiated in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria,” she added. “VALOR, which stands for Voluntary Agencies Leading and Organizing Repairs, utilizes the services of off-island non-profit voluntary agencies, such as the Mennonite Disaster Service, Southern Baptist Disaster Services, Adventist Disaster Services and the United Methodist Committee on Recovery who will be on island over the next couple of months, to make damaged dwellings safe, sanitary, and secure. This generous donation through tourists visiting our islands and our tourism community, will go a long way toward the recovery needs of our island home. On behalf of the Karidat board of directors and the individuals and families still recovering for [Super] Typhoon Yutu we appreciate the efforts of the Marianas Visitor Authority for organizing this #MarianasSTRONG fundraising campaign for Karidat. Thank you!”
The donation includes nearly $30,000 donated by Skymark Airlines, the Japanese air carrier that inaugurated direct flights to the Marianas on April 22, 2019, and nearly $10,000 donated by Access, Inc., the MVA’s representative office in Japan.
Additional donors include Honorary Tourism Ambassador Toshio Matsumura, Koenji Awadori Association, Fiesta Resort & Spa, Star Sands Plaza, Grandvrio Resort Saipan, Hard Rock Café Saipan, Hyatt Regency Saipan, Joeten Aiko’s Ramen, Joeten Latte Café Garapan, Joeten Shopping Center Garapan, Country House Restaurant, Moby Dick, other donations in Japan, and donations made at the MVA office or at the #MarianasSTRONG Year-end Celebration and Yutu 5K Fun Run.
“We are extremely grateful to our tourism partners, as well as our generous visitors and residents, for the many contributions made that the MVA is able to pass on to the community through Karidat,” said MVA managing director Christopher A. Concepcion. “While tourists are back and enjoying the beautiful Marianas again, we know that there are also members of our community still struggling with home repairs, rebuilding, and other needs. We appreciate and support the continued hard work of Karidat in helping our community heal.”
Earlier this year, the Korean Marianas Tourism Club, composed of key Korean travel partners, also donated $10,000 to Karidat. Contributing companies were Jeju Air, Tour 2000, Sejoong Tour, Very Good Tour, Tide Square, SM Town Travel, KRT, and Naeil Tour. (MVA)