The Seventh Day Adventist in the CNMI has given away $100,000 among Saipan and Tinian residents to aid in the community’s recovery following Super Typhoon Yutu.
Over the last two weekends, the SDA has been distributing $100 to $500 worth of Ace Hardware vouchers to eligible families.
As of last Sunday, the SDA was able to distribute the entire $100,000 to over 240 individuals on Tinian and Saipan.
The vouchers are only redeemable at participating Ace Hardware stores and is intended to help people buy supplies to rebuild their homes.
The voucher program was practiced to ensure no foot traffic and to ensure that the aid is given to families who need it most.
According to SDA chief financial officer Ernie Lacorte, SDA volunteers went out in groups to personally assess damage homes and to personally hand out the invoice/voucher.
“We were just designated certain villages…we concentrated on the south because it was heavily damaged,” he said.
Lacorted said that what made their job easier was that they were able to partner with the American Red Cross-NMI Chapter and got a map to homes that were categorized as major damaged homes and assessed those homes first.
Lacorte added that the amount of damage to the home determines the amount of help they receive. The maximum amount that can be received is $500.
According to Lacorte, the Seventh Day Adventist headquarters in North America has a branch that that attends to disaster outreach or relief and the branch allotted $100,000 for Saipan and Tinian.
“What we did was we allotted $20,000 for Tinian and $80,000 here on Saipan and we covered as many homes as we could with this funding,” he said.
The SDA volunteers gave assistance to homes that fell under four categories; affected, minor damage, major damage, and completely destroyed.
Adventist Community Service director Warren Creed said that both distributions on Saipan and Tinian went smoothly and SDA wishes they could help more.
As of last Sunday, there has been no word of another distribution until SDA North America decides to allot more funding to aid in Yutu recovery.