Philippine native Kay Robertson, 82, has experienced a lot over the years — living in the jungles as a child after the Pearl Harbor attack and continuing to serve as a missionary today to help those suffering from the November 2013 typhoon that killed more than 6,200 people in her country.
“I feel very strongly about about my faith. It's a gift from God. During life, you give back what has been given to you, but you can't out give God,” Robertson told the Herald-Press during an interview.
Robertson, a widow of a Presbyterian minister she met in Texas as a young woman, has been staying in the Palestine area for the last few weeks with family and has spoken to women's groups at a handful of local churches about ways to help the Filipinos in need of assistance since the typhoon.
Typhoon Haiyan — one of the most powerful typhoons on record — devastated the eastern Philippines on Nov. 8, 2013 — flattening homes and destroying vital infrastructure. More than 4 million were displaced and more than 1 million homes were damaged or destroyed, according to the Philippine government.
“It's going to be years and years before we will be able to recover. Even after (Hurricane) Katrina, it took a lot of time for that area to overcome the devastation,” said Robertson, who still lives in the Philippines. “There's not much building materials in the Philippines so there are a lot of tents. The hospital we have is still working out of a tent and the rainy season is coming in June. The Philippines is still considered a third-world country.”
Robertson said there is a huge need for children's clothing of all sizes right now, especially shorts and jeans, as well as toiletries like bars of soap. The clothing does not need to be new.