Facebook to match donations for 'Vinta' victims

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 25) — Social media giant Facebook is urging its users to give to a worthy cause – helping those affected by 'Vinta' (international name: Tembin).

The Severe Tropical Storm lashed Mindanao over the weekend, with reports from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) saying 123 people have died, while another 160 remain missing.

READ: Authorities: Hundreds dead due to 'Vinta'

Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's chief operating officer, posted on her page, asking people to donate via GlobalGiving, a nonprofit global crowdfunding community.

Sandberg said, "Natural disasters are always devastating and especially so during the holidays. But time and time again, we've seen communities come together to help one another."


She added Facebook would be matching donations made via GlobalGiving up to $500,000. GlobalGiving's total goal is $1,000,000.

"Even in times of crisis, there is hope and goodness to be found," Sandberg said.

Facebook activated its Safety Check feature, which allows people to let friends and family know they are safe from Vinta. The social media platform also activated its Disaster Response page for the storm's victims.

On the Disaster Response page, it said, "As people in the Philippines celebrate Christmas, we are wishing for their safety. We hope the generosity that is so evident during the holiday season helps raise money that people can use to recover and rebuild from this devastating storm. #VintaPH"

Facebook has waived all fees for donations for nonprofit organizations since November, meaning 100 percent of donations made throiugh GlobalGiving will support relief efforts.

Vinta, which entered Philippine territory shortly after the deadly cyclone Urduja exited. Vinta dumped rains in Mindanao, forcing the evacuation of thousands of people.

RELATED: Relief aid making its way to storm victims

The NDRRMC said, however, the number of dead and missing due to 'Vinta' has yet to be confirmed.