Personally, I regularly support my mum who still lives there, but she is the very rare exception as there are countless others who have no 'rich' Australian families to support them like she has. Life is a day to day struggle for so many. They have nothing in the world, and the volcano erruption took not only their few possessions and shantily-built homes but also in many cases their dignity and pride.
When the erruption hit, my primary goal was to first raise urgent money to buy life-saving supplies like sacks of rice, clean water, tinned food, medicines and other simple essentials. As a result of some very quick and generous donations from my friends, workers, my husband's school and others, we were able to raise over $5000 in a matter of weeks.
With this money, we were able to organise my brother to rent a 9-ton truck, and bought food & supplies including over 32 sacks of rice, about 1000 cans of corned beef, tarps and other items and he delivered them a few days later directly to the villages around my mum's house. By his estimation there were over 500 families that the supplies directly helped. Almost everyone in my mum's village had lost the roofs to their homes - so no shelter from the 300Km/hr winds and rain, no dry bedding, and everything they had was lost - including their hope.
Sacks of rice were and still are an essential starting point but the unfortunate reality is they only last for so long. A donation of a 50Kg sack of rice (which would cost about $50) would still be greatly appreciated and in fact any amount certainly would be welcome as everything adds up. (Imagine how good you would feel if you looked back at your life and realised over time you donated one sack (or 20 sacks!) of rice that directly helped feed these villagers in the Philippines.)