You may recall this proverb:
For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the message was lost.
For want of a message the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.
If you’re wondering how your individual contribution—large or small—can help the survivors of Super Typhoon Yutu, or any disaster or crisis, consider that proverb, and consider this: Over its years in business, an affordable auto repair shop with a generous, empathetic owner can help thousands of individuals stay mobile, keep working, earn a paycheck, support their families, and avoid becoming destitute.
For 31 years, Manny Vitug has lived in the CNMI where he has owned and operated a community-focused auto repair shop (ELS Auto) business. He’s been known to undercharge people for his services. Some have had their cars repaired “on credit” and paid him back when they’re back on their feet and able. For some looking to make a purchase of a used car, he’ll often assess a vehicle’s road-worthiness just as a courtesy, at no charge.
Now, however, after years of helping people in this way “on credit,” after growing a business on two islands, employing others, securing a nest egg for his retirement as well as a legacy for his children, Vitug, in his own greatest time of need, has been told he “doesn’t qualify” for assistance or loans because he doesn’t have what the banks call a “credit history.” Through this campaign, I wanted to show Manny that there are other sorts of credit histories—karmic credit histories, if you will—that might come to his aid.
The success (or failure) of a business can have a domino effect on many others who are not directly connected to it. Vitug has employees, tenants, family members, and customers whose lives, livelihoods, futures, and fates are intimately and intricately connected to his.
Who knows, if you or someone you love ever visits Saipan or Tinian on vacation or to relocate, it might be through Manny’s or his son’s repair work that your tour guide’s vehicle is able to provide a reliable and memorable experience of these beautiful islands.
Yes, it’s all connected…from nail to kingdom.
When it comes to telling the story of Saipan’s recovery after being hit by Super Typhoon Yutu—the strongest typhoon ever to hit the Marianas, the second strongest to hit the United States (mainland and territories) ever, and the third most intense in terms of pressure (ever), let’s not allow ourselves to write or say: For want of a mechanic, the future was lost…
Vitug is the first of several individuals I wish to help through the “Be Strong, CNMI Strong” disaster relief campaign.
Listen to Vitug tell his story, view scenes of the devastation, and show your support (and if you can’t support, then please “share”) at http://www.gofundme.com/cnmistrong.