A fire recently destroyed the houses of some 250 families in Smokey Mountain, Tondo, Manila.

MANILA, Sept. 24, 2013—After a fire ravaged several houses in Smokey Mountain, Tondo last Friday, a foundation called on the public for much-needed donations for some 250 affected families. 

The Tulay ng Kabataan (TNK) foundation, a non-government organization (NGO) that primarily cares for marginalized Metro Manila youth and kids, was one of the first to respond to the immediate needs of the fire victims and is now requesting donations in kind: sacks of rice, powdered milk for infants and clothes for children. 

Donations may be dropped off at the TNK main administration office at 94 Kalayaan Ave., Diliman, Quezon City or at 1827 Santan Street, Dasmariñas Village, Makati City. 

According to TNK communications manager Alexandra Chapeleau, several families are currently staying at the TNK Mother Teresa Center, located at the center of Smokey Mountain or are seeking shelter under makeshift tents at the site. 

TNK staff and volunteers are presently helping distribute food and relief goods to the families; other community workers in Smokey Mountain are being mobilized to help out as well. 

The fire, which is believed to have started at around 1 a.m., razed about one-fourth of the houses in the shanty community of Sitio Damayan in Smokey Mountain. 

Operating since 1998, the TNK is headed by Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas as chairman. 

The foundation has several programs to address the plight of thousands of underprivileged infants, children and youth in the slums, dump sites and streets. 

For more information, call (02) 435 59 12 or email info@tnkfoundation.org. [Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz]