Guided by faith

Camas congregation gathers donations for typhoon survivors in the Philippines

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Mark Lockwood braved temperatures in the high 40s Thursday, while sorting donations of assorted goods that will soon be on their way to the Philippines.Lockwood, a volunteer, was dressed in several layers of clothing in the River Rock Church warehouse, as he separated contributions of clothing, shoes, bedding, toys, medical and school supplies, pots, pans and tarps.

According to the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, more than 3.3 million people were displaced by Typhoon Haiyan on Nov. 8. More than 5,200 people are reported dead, 25,615 were injured and 1,613 are missing.

“We were able to set up feeding networks within 72 hours, to provide rice for those that lost their food supply,” said Kelly Backstrom, pastor of River Rock, which has 16 churches in the Philippines.

Boxes of clothing and other contributions received at River Rock by Saturday, Nov. 30, will be delivered to those locations. Donations received by Saturday, Dec. 7, will be shipped and distributed by the American Red Cross throughout the Philippines.

On Nov. 17, more than 500 empty, two-foot by two-foot boxes were handed out to church attendees after services.

The boxes were provided at cost by Lowe’s, to be filled with clothes and supplies.

“The storm was an act of nature,” said Tony Williamson, one of the pastors at River Rock. “We want our response to be an act of God.”

Area shoe companies have committed to donating a total of 35,000 pairs of footwear, to the relief effort. Those donations are organized by Global Footwear, of Portland.

T-shirts, to help with relief efforts in the Philippines, are available to purchase for $20 each in the lobby of River Rock Church, in the One Stop Shopping Center, 3520 N.E. Third Ave., Camas.

Quantity discounts are available, and T-shirts can also be purchased online at They are available in youth and adult sizes.

Cash contributions will purchase food, rebuilding materials and school and medical supplies. The church has a goal of raising $32,000, by Sunday, Dec. 15.

For more information, call River Rock at 885-9000.