Sending balikbayan boxes to our Filipino friends

Who doesn’t get excited to receive a specially-wrapped care package from a loved one? Our brothers and sisters from the Philippines have a wonderful tradition of sending care packages – termed “balikbayan boxes” – to their friends and family full of items such as non-perishable food, toiletries, household items, electronics, toys, or items hard to find in the Philippines. These boxes provide an economical way to ship at a flat rate based on one of three standard sizes.

In the aftermath of Super Typhoon Haiyan, balikbayan boxes are being used creatively as an effective way to deliver critically needed supplies. It’s taking the idea of a “care package” to a whole new level. Thanks to the generosity of MedShare‘s financial and product donors, our MedShare team is able to provide medical supplies for balikbayan boxes being shipped by individuals in the San Francisco Bay area who have been in communication with relatives or medical personnel in the Philippines. It’s a creative way to make a big difference and get critical supplies to those in need quickly. In fact, several members of the MedShare team have family members who have been directly impacted by the typhoon, and they are responding to the call for assistance by using this unique balikbayan system. Teams bring their specific requests to us and we gather the supplies – so far, requests have included everything from basic hygiene items to first-aid material to infant and maternity specific supplies. First, the balikbayan box is delivered to a trusted friend or family member in the Philippines; then it is transferred to the local medical facility for the benefit of the community.

We continue to welcome contributions to MedShare’s Philippines Urgent Humanitarian Relief Program. Help us provide more care to Filipinos in need…. help us fill more balikbayan boxes, equip additional medical teams deploying to the Philippines and ship forty-foot containers of much-needed supplies and equipment as part of the recovery efforts.

Thanks for your support,

Iryn gathering supplies for balikbayan boxes