TSL Foundation donates relief goods to Empty Vessel

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(TSLF) — The Tan Siu Lin Foundation has donated relief goods to Empty Vessel Ministry to help the organization serve more people needing assistance at these trying times.

TanHoldings chief executive officer Jerry Tan and TSL Foundation executive director Merlie Tolentino turned over the $18,000 worth of relief goods to EVM president Rosalyn Ajoste at the ministry’s office in Gualo Rai last Thursday.  The TSL Foundation, the charitable arm of TanHoldings, donated canned goods, cereals, milk, and juice boxes.

“On behalf of the board and officers of Empty Vessel Ministries, I would like to thank Mr. Jerry Tan and Ms. Merlie Tolentino of the TSL Foundation for their timely and generous donation,” Ajoste said.

The donated items came just as EVM is getting ready for Tuesday’s distribution of relief packages to families affected by the coronavirus pandemic.  The TSL Foundation donation will help 500 families.

“Currently, EVM has a waiting list of over 600 individuals, and the list grows every day.  The primary recipients will be workers and families who lost their jobs due to the pandemic, many of whom do not qualify for food stamp assistance,” Ajoste said.

TanHoldings chief executive officer Jerry Tan, left, and Tan Siu Lin Foundation executive director Merlie Tolentino, fourth left, present the $18,000 worth of donated relief goods to Empty Vessel Ministry officers led by its president Rosalyn Ajoste, center, on Thursday in Gualo Rai. Contributed photo

She added that since more people are lining up to avail themselves of EVM’s food assistance, they decided to move their distribution area to Garapan Central Park Roundhouse on Tuesday via drive-thru from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

“We serve people of all circumstances, ages, races, ethnicities, and religious backgrounds without question. Since February, EVM has received hundreds of calls for food assistance.  EVM is happy to act as the community liaison, doing the repacking, and acting as the arms and feet on the ground to provide relief to those who need it the most.  In most cases, we try not to turn anyone away, unless we have run out of food,” Ajoste said.

The TSL Foundation commended EVM for serving the community, especially at this time of crisis.

“The Empty Vessel Ministry has consistently provided food assistance to members of our community. They were there when we had two strong typhoons and now they are stepping up for families that are affected by this pandemic. Even on ordinary days, Empty Vessel keeps its door open to people in need. It takes a lot of effort and commitment to be able to provide assistance to the community yearlong so we’re fortunate to have the Empty Vessel Ministry in the CNMI,” Tolentino said.

“They are part of our very generous community and we, at the Tan Siu Lin Foundation is honored to help their program,” Tolentino added.

Ajoste said EVM depends on community partnerships to carry out their mission of providing humanitarian aid to those who are most in need so any help they could get from both the public and private sectors are welcome.

“There is always a need for food.  EVM provides emergency food services for needy individuals all-year round, but sometimes the grant money is not enough,” Ajoste said.

To keep their operation going, EVM encourages companies to donate quarterly, either cash or food. Stores that have food items nearing their expiration date are requested to consider donating them to EVM’s food bank, as the group has a database full of individuals ready to accept them. EVM is also encouraging the public to seek membership to the ministry, as if it could find 50 new members who would commit $20 a month, these will be enough to take care of their operational costs.

For companies and individuals interested in helping EVM, contact Rosalyn Ajoste at 285-9700, 235-2340, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or leave a message on its Facebook page.


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