More than a year before Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines, Bryce Maddock lived through a less deadly storm in Manila.
“Within the period of just a few hours, 20 inches of rain fell and there was awful flooding,” he said of the August 2012 typhoon. “People had to wade through waist-high water in order to get to work.”
His Santa Monica outsourcing company, TaskUS, has offices in Manila. It was spared the worst when Haiyan hit early last month, but many of his employees had families and friends living in the affected area. So he wanted to help.
“The Philippines is our extended community,” he said. “We felt compelled to raise money to support the country.”
Three days after Haiyan hit, Maddock and TaskUs started fundraising, promising to match every donation dollar for dollar up to $25,000.
As of last week, the company raised $8,000 and had donated $16,000 to the American Red Cross for relief efforts in the Philippines.
The company also set up a collection station in its Manila office for cash and emergency goods. Cash will go to the local Red Cross, and the company will send the goods to the affected area.
Maddock, who co-founded TaskUs in 2008 with Jaspar Weir, a friend from Santa Monica High School, said they had tried a dozen countries before setting up offices in the Philip-pines. They were drawn to the country because of its English-speaking population and its appreciation for American culture as well as to the strong work ethic there.
“The truly remarkable and amazing thing that happens in a typhoon is people go out of their way to come to work during some of the most fierce conditions,” he said.
– Kay Chinn
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