USS Harpers Ferry
"First In Freedom"
Harpers Ferry (LSD 49) Sailors Donate Clothes to Typhoon Victims
Story by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Richard Doolin
SUBIC BAY, Philippines - Sailors from the amphibious dock landing ship USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49) donated a tri-wall (a large cardboard box) of clothes, toiletries and canned goods to the Olongapo City chapter of the Philippine Red Cross, Oct. 25.

The donation was made to help victims of Typhoon Megi, (locally referred to as Juan), which hit the northern Philippines 18 Oct., with winds of 140 mph, killing at least 31 people, and affecting more than 215,000.

The Typhoon Megi relief-drive was the brainchild of Engineman 3rd Class Telisha Reinhardt. Her mother, who works in a homeless shelter, inspired Reinhardt. As a child Reinhardt's mother would take clothes the family didn't need, or had outgrown, to the homeless shelter.

Reinhardt said, "I always see Sailors throwing away clothes I feel are in good condition, and could've went to people who really needed those clothes."

The relief-drive was organized and co-coordinated by Logistics Specialist 1st Class Melvin Tanio, who could not have done it without the help and support of Harpers Ferry 1st Class Petty Officers Association.

In addition to clothing items, toiletries and canned goods were also donated by the Sailors of Harpers Ferry.

"I donated some shampoo, lotion, mouthwash and hand sanitizer 'cause those are things that might not be readily available to people who've certainly just lost their home; and taking good care of your personal hygiene is going to be a big concern too," said Personnel Specialist 1st Class Marcie Farley.

After arriving in Subic Bay, Harpers Ferry Commanding Officer Cmdr. Antonio Hull presented the tri-wall of donated goods to Eduardo Buena, the Philippine Red Cross Chapter Administrator for Olongapo City, during a small ceremony on the pier.

"On behalf of the national headquarters [of the Philippine Red Cross] we are thankful for the donation you are giving us," said Buena. He also commented that he would make sure that the donated goods were given to people who needed them.
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