It’s one of the favorite travel photos I’ve ever taken. The pic shows smiling, thankful members of the indigenous Ati tribe here in Malay, Aklan, on Panay Island in the Philippines. Mike and Linda are Ellen’s parents. They, and others, have made generous donations to our ongoing efforts to help the Ati and other Filipinos who have been devastated by the coronavirus crisis and weather events.
We first met a group of Ati a couple weeks ago on our beach – hungry and attempting to catch fish. The COVID-19 shutdown has decreased Ati incomes and food and medical availability. After meeting with Ati tribal leadership and hearing about their plight we immediately gave money for rice and pledged funds to help the Ati repair and rebuild infrastructure that was damaged by typhoon Ursula on Christmas Day, 2019.
Of course, my caring mother, Diane, who remains ‘stuck’ here with us after her winter vacation, has joined the effort with financial support. Ellen’s parents, my brother, Damian, and other family members back in the U.S. have also given and pledged further donations. And now, some of our loyal blog readers have asked how they might also contribute. Wow! What a fine bunch of friends and followers we have!
Of course, we feel compelled to mention that we don’t intend for our charitable travel activities or blog posts to be solicitations for donations. And truthfully, we feel a bit odd about collecting and dispersing funds overseas when the pandemic has created unprecedented need in America, too. Indeed, these are uncertain times for everyone. But since people have asked directly, here’s how they can assist us if they wish.
We do NOT have a GoFundMe account. As mentioned above, we aren’t normally raising money for causes, although we do donate money and involve ourselves in various volunteer efforts as we travel. Plus, we don’t care to give a cut to GoFundMe or deal with tax consequences – at least for now. However, I do have the PayPal, Venmo, and Google Pay accounts shown below where donations could be sent.
- PayPal — TedlyK@ymail.com
- Venmo — @Ted-Kortan
- Google Pay — TedKortan@gmail.com
Of course, any donation is welcome, even five or ten bucks. And be assured, every cent given will go directly toward helping the Ati and their many needs during this very difficult time. In addition, both Earth Vagabonds (Ellen & Tedly) and my mom will match any donations made – thereby tripling the effect.
We will continue to blog about the Ati projects and progress. And we will even make and forward a personalized ‘thank you’ sign photo like the one shown up top for any donor. What could be more rewarding than that? (Or donors can be kept completely anonymous.)
Why do this? Because we can.
Seriously, as early retired global wanderers, we are reminded every day how fortunate and privileged we are to be able to live and enjoy this lifestyle. And as Americans, we feel obligated to do what we can for those who are less fortunate. Without getting political, we view our efforts as a way to counter the recent rise in nationalism and xenophobia worldwide.
Here are links to the blogs posts we’ve done about our work with the Ati thus far. We remain excited and dedicated to following through with these and other initiatives over time. We do expect to be here for several more months and believe we can facilitate change for the better in that time.
- Community projects will help Ati people with livelihood
- Building a chicken coop with Ati workers
- Working side by side with the Ati people on projects
- Special payday for hard-working Ati tribe members
- How we met the Ati – an indigenous tribe in the Philippines
Finally, another sincere thank you to all those who have offered or given donations already. I can say with confidence, your care and generosity is appreciated by the friendly, gentle Ati people. Further, be assured, we are personally inspired by your gifts to do more and give more ourselves as we all work together to negotiate through this trying time.
Thanks for reading, “Ati donations will go a long way in Malay, Philippines.”
Reminder: This is an independent travel blog. We do not work with sponsors or affiliates, like most ‘travel’ bloggers. We run this website as a hobby, and to show American family and friends back home other cultures in other countries. Also, Earth Vagabonds advocate for authentic travel once international borders reopen.