Of the National Capital Region - Northern Virginia Alumni Chapter
Membership Registration Form
Silliman University Alimni Association is a non Profet organization
duly registered and incorporated in the District of Colunmbia. All
Sillimanians are eligible to register as members of the Association.
We encourage everybody who would be a member to complete the registeration
Silliman University Alimni Association Form. The annual membership
due for an individual is $10.00 and $20.00 for the family of registrants
living in the same household.
Hi and Welcome to the Silliman University Alimni Association which
is a non Profet organization duly registered and incorporated in the District
of Colunmbia of Washington DC..
Villanuevas join Gulf relief effort ‘Biloxi Boomerang' will make them return to Mississippi someday
By Cindy Karelis, Times-News Staff Writer Monday, January 23, 2006 10:02 AM EST
(From left) Sonya Morgan, Kathy Villanueva, Dr. Romulo Villanueva, Mary
Ellis, Beth Lohnas and Shelly Minnick of Villanueva's office staff look
through a scrapbook detailing the Villanueva family's recent trip to
aid relief efforts on the Gulf Coast. (Photo credit: John A.
- There's little doubt in Kathy Villanueva's mind - now that her family
has spent some time in Mississippi, the “Biloxi boomerang” will see to
it that they return. That's the name given by a fellow relief worker to
the post-Katrina volunteer from Cumberland who vows that they will
return again someday.
Kathy's husband, Romulo, a local physician
also known as Jun, suggested the idea to his family one day when the
unsuspecting clan was gathered together in December just before the
“Why don't we make a little change this year?” Jun
asked his wife and three grown sons in reference to the family's annual
holiday skiing trip. His idea of change involved a charitable
contribution, but not one in the form of money or supplies alone.
Villanueva family of Bishop Walsh Road drove 17 hours south instead,
arriving at the Bethel Lutheran Church in Biloxi in time to be part of
the Lutheran Disaster Reponse team's Christmas effort.
of an outpouring of help from all over the United States, the family
joined hundreds living in tents in the volunteer village known as Camp
of the Villanuevas' first duties was to help construct bunk beds for
the volunteers, a job taken on happily by sons Ray and Ryan, both
college students doing post-graduate and undergraduate work,
Their affiliation with Scouting and the local
mission program NAILS, where they learned to make home repairs for the
needy, prepared them for the task, their father said. The young men
also helped unload hundreds of donated mattresses from delivery trucks
along with performing badly needed roof repairs.
volunteered to do cleaning, cooking, sorting in the distribution center
and even roofing, her husband and their eldest son, Rex, a biomedical
sciences student, treated approximately 30 patients a day for minor
injuries and illnesses in two different medical clinics.
applied for my temporary license before I left - and I was very
surprised when I got it the next night,” Jun said of the online process
that moved rapidly.
Assistant site manager for Lutheran Disaster
Response Dorothy Fox described the “good Samaritan” licensing done in
Jackson that enables medical personnel to respond quickly to the relief
The team that the Villanueva family joined celebrates the successful
installation of a roof. (Photo courtesy of Villanueva family)
have to have these people,” Fox said of the physicians, nurses,
technicians and other professionals needed to administer medical
services to residents still coping with limited facilities.
“The Villanuevas were just a blessing because we are trying to get out clinics on task,” Fox added.
as many as 150 to 200 volunteers on a weekly basis, the disaster
response unit sent work crews out every day based on the number of
requests received from the community.
“Our requests come from
folks who didn't leave at all, those who came back right away and those
who are just now returning,” Fox said of the ongoing attempts to
provide post-hurricane recovery.
Fox, a Biloxi resident, left
the stricken area for five weeks after she evacuated with others in
late August. Her husband's congenital heart failure was an issue with
what she called “poor water and air quality,” a situation aggravated by
“so much stuck in the air from demolition and construction.”
made Christmas Eve to distribute donated gifts to local residents who
had lost everything made the deepest impression on Kathy. Jun was
touched by the holiday decorations from tinsel to Santa figurines that
still donned the yards of destroyed homes.
“Just to see the
smile on their faces upon seeing us bringing gifts made us feel that
our presence made a difference,” Kathy said. “It just goes to show that
no matter how little help we could give can make a difference in
Lifelong friends were made with the Forbes
family from Illinois and the Henry family from Wisconsin, others who,
like the Villanuevas, “answered a call” that couldn't be ignored.
parents are missionaries at a small clinic in the Philippines,” Jun
said of the upbringing that set an example of volunteerism, leading the
doctor to offer non gratis his clinical and surgical skills every few
years in his native Philippines.
Others interested in
volunteering in the recovery effort that Fox said will continue for
“several years” can contact her at (228) 267-0008. Volunteers must
bring a pillow, towels, sleeping bag and money to contribute toward
their own daily food consumption.
“It's going to take a while for us to get healed,” she said.