MANILA, Philippines – "The work is far from complete." These were the words of Chicago Bulls forward Pau Gasol as he called for more donations and support for the survivors of Super Typhoon "Yolanda," which devastated the Visayas in November 2013.
In a video message, Gasol congratulated the Philippines, UNICEF, and other organizations for their efforts in helping the Yoland survivors recover.
"I'm happy for being one of the thousands of people that have supported this great work (but) the work is far from complete," said Gasol.
"Yolanda devastated homes, infrastructure, and life. After a disaster of such rate, recovery and reconstruction for millions of people are not possible within a few months or even a year," he added.
"It needs long term commitment… We still need your support for the children of the Philippines."
In another video, Gasol told the story of Michael, a boy who was affected by Yolanda, saying: "Since his voice is not being heard, I'll lend him mine."
Gasol has been a UNICEF ambassador since 2003.
Last year, Gasol pledge to donate $1,000 for every point that he scored in the Los Angeles Lakers' game against Golden State Warriors, and wound up donating $24,000 to UNICEF that went toward relief efforts.
The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association also donated $250,000 each for Yolanda relief, while the Miami Heat – whose coach, Erik Spoelstra, is half-Filipino – donated $1-million. The Lakers as a team also donated $150,000 for relief efforts.
The damage caused by Yolanda was estimated at $2.86-billion. Over 6,000 people died due to the typhoon, which was the strongest storm to ever make landfall in recorded history.