The aftermath of Yolanda brought about images of devastation and sorrow in many forms.

But it also brought hope.

A new symbol of hope is coming. Remember this iconic Bench moment?

The boat is making a comeback. And so is Gomez.

Congresswoman Lucy Torres-Gomez that is.

Together with her Bench family, Congresswoman Gomez has joined forces with the country's top retail brand to uplift the lives of Typhoon Yolanda victims in the 4th District of Leyte through 6200: The Mission Possible Project.

The project aims to elevate relief efforts by providing motorized boats (bancas) to fishermen affected by the typhoon. This approach to assistance by promoting self-sufficiency is Lucy's long-term advocacy which Bench supports whole-heartedly. Bench is focused on donating a total of 200 bancas this 2014.

Reminiscent of the symbol of Bench's early beginnings as a brand, the Bench banca seeks to promote this time around a tool, that can help Yolanda victims rise and become self-sufficient.
As a supplement to the government's own programs, this independent relief effort seeks to allocate funds to construct boats with fiberglass-finished hull, a Honda-brand engine, and accessories such as a propeller, brass pipe, rudder, steel shaft, and cross-joint bolts, nuts and rings.
"The fishing sector has always been one of the most impoverished, and Yolanda has cemented that fact even more," Lucy says. "The District 1 represent 5 coastal areas and there are 6,200 fishermen whose boats were damaged. Yes, we are in a crisis. They have to be empowered, and the fastest and most logical way of doing that is to restore their livelihood—allowing then to once again earn decently by the work of their hands. That is a gift on so many levels," Lucy adds.

"Soldier on, keep the faith. God holds us all in the palm of His hands," is Lucy's message to the victims of Typhoon Yolanda. What started out as a small dream is now becoming a bigger reality with increasing participation from the private sector.

(Beneficiaries of this project include the fishermen of Ormoc City and the nearby municipalities of the 4th District of Leyte —Albuera, Merida, Isabel, and Palompon.)
The Bench banca (L-R: Ben Chan, Lucy Torres-Gomez, Richard Gomez and Virgilio Lom)
Like Bench and Lucy, you too can help make a difference!

Donors can sponsor a boat and name it after their company or loved ones. A team of artist, volunteers add creativity to each piece with colorful designs that echo a unique story. With help from kind hearts, hope will float and devastated villages shall rise again. To learn more about how you can be part of this endeavor, visit www.rebuildormoc.com.
Representative Lucy Torres-Gomez presents Suyen Corporation with a certificate of appreciation for the company's efforts in helping rebuild lives in the 4th District of Leyte.
As loyal Bench shoppers, you can also get involved. For every Php500 purchased at all company-owned Bench, Herbench, Superbench, Bench Tweeners, Bench Tofu and Bench Body Stores, Php5 will be donated to the 6200: Mission Possible Project through KIDS (Kabataan Iwas Droga sa tulong ng Sports) Foundation from february 1 to April 30, 2014.


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