Jayhawk and former Army officer launches typhoon relief

Posted on Dec 20, 2013 in Alumni News and News

Rod Ward, a retired lieutenant colonel, is putting his can-do Army attitude and experience back to work by launching a significant relief effort following Typhoon Yolanda, which killed more than 6,000 people after making landfall in the Philippines in early November.

After learning of the human suffering left in the wake of the massive storm, Ward founded an organization he calls PRAY: Provincial Relief Aid for Yolanda. Donating $25,000 of his own savings and gathering a nearly equal amount from other donors worldwide, Ward and PRAY have already conducted four missions and reached more than 15,000 people in 3,300 families.

“It is important to note,” he writes in an email from the Philippines, “that no one on the PRAY staff is paid any money. We are all volunteers. Most of the team are retired military, as am I. Wives and family members comprise another significant portion of the team.”

Ward, g’92, a 15-year member of the KU Alumni Association after earning his KU MBA, emphasizes that PRAY is 100-percent privately funded, and he encourages Jayhawks interested in learning more about the mission to visit yachtvalhalla.net/pray/pray.htm. The site includes photographs, vision and mission statements, logistical details and a breakdown of operating budgets and itemized expenses, along with a link to make donations.

A video recapping PRAY’s fourth mission, to the Caluya and Panagatan island chains, can be seen at here.

“We do a lot with little,” Ward writes.

PRAY’s website also includes links to the group’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

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–Chris Lazzarino

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