Lions clubs hand out relief assistance

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Members of the Lions Club International District 204 Region 2 pose for a photo following their first Super Typhoon relief distribution yesterday. (Contributed Photo)

The Lions Club International Region 2 hosted its first relief assistance distribution post-Yutu yesterday, with priority for families who are in dire need of assistance.

The six Lions Clubs in the CNMI banded together to host its first Super Typhoon Yutu relief assistance distribution at the Latter-Day Saints church on Middle Road. It was also the first time to hand out relief assistance using a voucher system.

According to Lion’s Club International Region 2 chair Annamae Adaza, the club wanted ensure that the vouchers were specifically given to families who needed the assistance most.

“That’s why we used vouchers. We had to make sure that it goes to deserving families,” she said.

Adaza added that the system also ensured that no one takes advantage of the relief distribution.

“In any distribution, there are always people who take advantage. I know there are some here that…don’t need the help [and]…I feel so bad because there are some families that deserve the help more…Give others a chance,” she said.

Adaza said that families were chosen through a village outreach where club members went into villages, scoping severely damaged homes and approaching families who live there.

“We went around…we assigned per club a village…like we had one club go out to San Antonio, we had one in San Jose, Chalan Kanoa, Koblerville…they went house to house,” she said.

The club chose not to announce the distribution because they did not want people lining up at the distribution site. Unfortunately, lots of people lined up anyway and were not offered assistance.

“We actually had only 400 vouchers and we never announced it because we were worried about the crowd but still we have some walk-ins and…we will try to accommodate the walk-ins but we don’t encourage them because of the limited supplies,” Adaza said.

She said that this was only the first distribution. She assured that there will be another distribution.

“We are planning to do another one but we are still waiting for funding from Guam because we got a lot of pledges from Guam and, once we get those, then that’s the time we will announce and do a first-come, first-serve system,” she said.

The funding for the club’s first relief distribution came from the Lion’s Club International.

“When we requested the grant, we asked for $10,000 but we spent over $12,000 for this whole distribution… The Lions Club International Foundation only allotted us $10,000 but Lions Club district governor Daniel Cruz covered the balance,” Adaza said.

The club was able to distribute noodles, canned goods, mosquito coils, toiletries, and more to 400 families.

The club was also able to help out those families affected by the massive fire in Garapan last Thursday.

Kimberly Bautista | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.

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