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Hospitals reach out to support Typhoon Haiyan victims

Photo of Chaplain Dan OcampoPhoto caption: Hospital Chaplain Dan Ocampo labels a box of clothing for shipment to the Philippines. The Adventist Midwest Health hospitals donated various items to an effort to support victims of Typhoon Haiyan. For a larger version of this image, click on the photo.

Hinsdale – Those gathered in the Fellowship Hall at Fil-Am Seventh-day Adventist Church in Hinsdale unpacked, sorted and repacked piles of supplies and clothes, preparing them for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

About 30 volunteers packed boxes and sorted supplies throughout the morning. While this crew prepared supplies for shipment to the Philippines, others brought in more boxes from a local warehouse, where everything collected had been stored.

Among the many supplies stacked around the room were items donated by staff at Adventist Midwest Health hospitals – hospital linens, medical supplies, hygiene items, clothing and food. The hospitals began gathering these items shortly after the typhoon landed in the Philippines on Nov. 8, a collection organized by Adventist Hinsdale Hospital Chaplain Dan Ocampo.

“It’s been a humbling experience, the generosity everyone has shown,” Ocampo said. “When you have love, you can do anything to help those who need it the most.”

Ocampo is Filipino and still has family living in the Philippines. Fortunately, they live far to the north, away from where the typhoon did most of its damage, but the typhoon’s devastation left him aching.

“I was speechless for the entire night and day,” Ocampo said of the first images he saw coming out of the Philippines. “When people began to inquire about what we could do, I said, ‘The only thing we can do is help in any way we can – by asking people to help.’”

And help they have. The outpouring of love from staff at the four hospitals has made this huge undertaking an easy task in the end, Ocampo said.

“Love never ceases to live,” Ocampo said. “It’s the prime mover of all this. As Jesus said, ‘As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.’”

Among the most helpful through this experience has been Ross Gavino, a physical therapist at Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital, Ocampo said. Gavino collected the bulk of the donations, storing the items at a gym he owns, Counterstrike MMA Academy in Downers Grove. He and his network of friends gathered more than 300 boxes of food, medicine, clothes, blankets, diapers, medical equipment and more in the weeks following the typhoon.

“We had so much donated that it took three truckloads to move,” Gavino said. “We had people all over helping out and doing good.”

Gavino also has family in the Philippines, though they too were safe from the typhoon. Despite that, like Ocampo, he felt driven to reach out and help.

“I’m hopeful that people get the goods and the help they need, and they’ll think, ‘Thanks be to God for everything that has been given to us,’” Gavino said. “It’s been such a bad situation, but when you look at the outpouring of help, it’s shown that there is goodness in people, too.”

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Adventist Midwest Health includes Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital, Adventist GlenOaks Hospital, Adventist Hinsdale Hospital and Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital. To find a physician, visit www.keepingyouwell.com.

Physicians on the medical staff of Adventist Midwest Health Hospitals are independent contractors, and are not agents of the hospitals.

Media contact: Chris LaFortune, public relations specialist, Adventist Midwest Health, christopher.lafortune@ahss.org; (630) 856-2354.




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