The Philippine Red Cross Million Volunteer Run 2: A Run To Save Lives

The Philippine Red Cross hopes to hit the Million runners mark for the MVR2

Nike launched its “Human Race” in 2008 with a concept to have the entire world participate in the biggest running event in history where people from across the globe in 26 key cities connect by running simultaneously and create awareness for a new healthy lifestyle through running. More than 780,000 people ran ten kilometer routes from Santiago, Chile to Beijing, China and set a world record for the most participants in a single running event and since then Nike has made the event part of their international sports calendar with the recent December 9, 2012 edition attracting almost 400,000 enthusiasts.

The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) aims to go to the next level.

On Sunday (February 10) the PRC hopes to assemble one million runners within the archipelago to take part in the historic “Million Volunteer Run 2 (MVR2), The Run To Save Lives” which intends to follow the initial success of the 2011 which had over 400,000 take to the streets of 78 different locations around the country. This time around, the PRC is leaning on not just media support but also the power of the online social community to get the word out for bigger support for this worthy undertaking.

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“The Philippines will make an international declaration that we are humanitarians,” the official event website run.redcross.org.ph announces. “We will be running to create a culture of volunteerism in the Philippines that will define the Filipino nation before the whole world.”

With public-friendly registration fees of PhP 100.00 for students, PhP 200.00 for non-students and PhP 500.00 for executives, the PRC is eager to welcome more generous souls to make this not only a successful fund-raiser, but to also create an international stir—something Nike needed to achieve through five continents in five years ago.

“In Metro Manila, there will be two runs,” PRC Governor Mabini “EQ” F. Pablo bared in a press statement. “One beginning at the CCP Complex in Pasay City ending at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila, and the other beginning along the Elliptical Road at the Quezon Memorial Cirlce in Quezon City, continuing down Commonwealth Avenue (and) back to the Quezon Memorial Circle.

“The run aims to strengthen a network of volunteers down to the barangay level, and to create awareness and raise funds for the PRC’s critical humanitarian services.”

PRC Governor Mabini "EQ" Pablo: “The run aims to strengthen a network of volunteers down to the barangay level, …

This ten kilometer fun run is part of a mandate directed by PRC Chairman Richard Gordon to make the public aware of the PRC’s volunteer program and to help in mobilizing volunteers during times of natural disasters and calamities.

“The number of natural disasters in the Philippines surged 50% last year (2011), making the Philippines the world's most disaster-hit country in 2011,” according to the event website. “The two most destructive tropical cyclones in 2011 were tropical storms Sendong and Pedring. According to the Citizens' Disaster Response Center (CDRC), at least 15.3 million people were displaced, causing agriculture and infrastructure damages of Php 26 billion. The formula to alleviate human suffering in this horrifying buffet of disasters is the mobilization of millions of Red Cross volunteers supported by logistics and robust technological capabilities. Thus, the PRC has organized the Red Cross 143 wherein 44 volunteers (1 leader and 43 members) in every community are trained to reduce the risks of disasters, enabling them to respond accordingly to any catastrophic event that will strike the Philippines.”

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Governor EQ encourages the participation of the young citizens of the country to join the volunteerism efforts of the PRC.

“The youth are vital to the future of the volunteerism program of the PRC,” Pablo stated in the vernacular during a recent radio interview. “They are the ones who have more time, more strength and above all are more tech-savvy so information dissemination is faster through them,” noting a report from the National Statistics Office (NSO) that of the total population of 95 Million Filipinos, almost 50% are aged eighteen years old and below.

“In many of the volunteer drives of the PRC, we have noted that 73% of the participants are from the youth sector,” Pablo said in the same interview. “(Also) one of the goals of the MVR2 is to strengthen and nurture the network of volunteers of the PRC even into the Baranggay level.”

Well readers, you can do your part in helping this noble cause by joining the MVR2.

I know many of us will be hung-over from the Chinese New Year revelries but there still may be enough of us who can make it happen for the PRC.

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“The MVR2 is, after all, going to be one of the biggest fun runs ever organized, if not the biggest since the Red Cross is the foremost humanitarian organization in the world,” Pablo explains. “And with (a) 151-year history, is the oldest organization of its kind in the world as well as the largest, with 100 million, and counting members, volunteers and supporters in 189 national societies worldwide."

Many celebrities have already declared their support for the project and will be running alongside the multitudes who will be taking off at the crack of dawn. Among them are: Angel Locsin, Anne Curtis, Iza Calzado, Gerald Anderson, Solenn Heussaff, Dawn Zulueta, Rhian Ramos, Gary Valenciano, Karen Davila, Karylle, Eric and Epi Quizon, Daphne Oseña-Paez, Isabelle Diaz, Christine Bersola-Babao and fellow sports broadcaster Patricia Bermudez-Hizon. These and other notable personalities have also been very active and vocal in their support on social media.

All participants are encouraged to wear red shirts at thr run to support the endeavor.

More information is available on the event website http://run.redcross.org.ph/ and https://www.facebook.com/MillionVolunteerRun.

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We don’t know when the next disaster will throw a sucker-punch at our country, but if the PRC has all the resources and volunteers in its favor, then we, as a nation, will be ready to cope with anything nature has up its sleeves.

See you in a few hours, guys…

Follow Noel Zarate on Twitter: @NoelZarate

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