Saipan rallies for Ayuda Luta


Personnel from the Department of Fire and Emergency Management Service collect cash donations from passing motorists along Beach Road and fronting the Garapan Fishing Base where the Ayuda Luta donation drive was held last Saturday. (Jon Perez)

The International Coastal Cleanup, which usually draws widespread support in the CNMI, took a backseat last Saturday, with the Saipan community banding together to collect donations to aid the island of Rota that bore the brunt of Typhoon Mangkhut.

Under the direction of the Ayuda Luta Relief Drive, the Lady Diann Torres Foundation, the CNMI Women’s Association, and the Department of Fire and Emergency Management Services, the community came together to fill container vans at the Garapan Fishing Base with relief goods, while other volunteers collected cash donations from passing motorists, and entertainers made sure that everyone’s spirits didn’t flag.

According to the Ayuda Luta Relief Drive chair John Concepcion, about three containers were filled with relief goods last Saturday.

A boot drive was also held as part of the Ayuda Luta Relief Drive that was spearheaded by the Lady Diann Torres Foundation in conjunction with DFEMS.

Firefighters and volunteers stood by the side of the Garapan Fishing Base to collect monetary donations from motorists.

Various businesses across Saipan also gathered last Saturday to donate canned goods, water pallets, toiletries, and clothing.

The Office of the Governor was also in full force, helping collect, pack, and load all the donations.

In a memo sent out from the Office of the Governor to all government departments, Gov. Ralph DLG Torres said that it is a must that Saipan band together to aid its sister island.

“Typhoon Mangkhut left the people of Rota in distress, and I have activated all necessary government resources and have coordinated with [the Federal Emergency Management gency], our federal and military partners, and the American Red Cross to assist our brothers and sisters in Rota during their time of great need,” stated the memo.

“I am directing all department and activity heads to assist in the coordination of this important relief effort. Please send your designated representatives to assist in the relief drive,” it added.

The relief drive lasted from 7am to 3pm.

Small business owners join relief drive

Several Chinese small business owners banded together and did their share to help the people of Rota.

Liang Ming Qiang, the owner of Ming Li Market, led the relief drive efforts and he asked fellow small business owners to chip in. He said they could get in touch with Rep. Joseph Leepan T. Guerrero (R-Saipan) who then informed House majority leader Rep. Glenn Maratita (R-Rota) about the donation.

“We decided to do our share for the people of Rota. We are small business owners but we came together, we decided to give the basic needs of those affected like rice, water, and canned goods,” said Liang.

The group collected almost $2,000 worth of goods with 60 sacks of rice, eight boxes of assorted canned goods, 200 cases of drinking water, 20 boxes of tea, and clothes.

Yu Bo tire shop, Guangzhou Restaurant, Hua Tai Construction, Amber Saipan, New Field Saipan Corp., were the other small businesses that helped.

Maratita thanked the small business owners for their contribution. “This is for a humanitarian purpose that would help the people of Rota. There are still donations coming in and thank you to all the businesses that are donating.”

The goods would either be sent through the Governor’s Office or the Rota Legislative Delegation. The container is expected to arrive in Rota anytime this week.

Guerrero said Liang reached out to him, asking how could they help the people of Rota. “So, I told him we’re doing a relief drive and whatever they can donate would be much appreciated. …Whatever they give would be a huge thing to the people of Rota.”

He added that Liang’s group is not yet done and would again come up with additional donations. “This would make a strong impact on the ability of our people to move forward. In our community, we work as a family to see that everyone is taken care of. They are here not only to invest, but to also do their part as a member of our community.” (With Jon Perez)

Kimberly B. Esmores | 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

Related Posts

Disclaimer: Comments are moderated. They will not appear immediately or even on the same day. Comments should be related to the topic. Off-topic comments would be deleted. Profanities are not allowed. Comments that are potentially libelous, inflammatory, or slanderous would be deleted.