COURTESY OF PHIL LEE, FILIPINO COMMUNITY CENTER
Community leaders met yesterday at the FilCom Center in Waipahu to plan an emergency fundraiser to collect at least $30,000 for areas in the Philippines devastated over the weekend by Typhoon Fengshen.
Filipinos raise funds for storm aid
A local resident has a personal connection to the typhoon, which has killed 163 people
Romy Mindo grew up with typhoons and saw the destruction they left in the Philippines, his home country.
Never in his 71 years has one affected him personally.
Mindo's younger brother, Rudy, was swept out to sea in a typhoon Saturday that killed at least 163 people in the Philippines and left hundreds of others missing or homeless.
HOW TO HELP
Those who are interested in donating to the typhoon relief effort can mail a check payable to "FilCom Center" to 94-428 Mokuola St., W Suite 302, Waipahu, HI 96797.
Please write "Philippine Typhoon Relief Drive" in the memo. Donations are tax deductible.
In a fortunate twist, Rudy's two sons saw their father drifting out to sea off the coast of Santa Maria, a town on the Western border that is several hundreds miles north of Manila. They braved the large surf and powerful winds and rescued their father.
"Typhoons are ordinary to us," Mindo said yesterday. "But when one of your close family members is involved, it's a different feeling. It's very disheartening. We had good news, but so many others didn't."
Local Filipino leaders have begun an emergency fundraiser to collect money for the areas most affected by Typhoon Fengshen. The Hawaii International Relief Organization has joined with the Filipino Community Center and the Aloha Medical Mission to collect at least $30,000 to provide relief for the survivors.
Geminiano Arre Jr., the president of the Filipino Community Center, said their priority is to raise money, which could then be used to buy medical supplies in areas they later deem as the most in need.
"You have a special affinity for your roots," Arre said at an emergency planning meeting yesterday at the FilCom Center. "If we're going to be able to help at all, we have to be successful at raising the money."
Said Jun Abinsay, head of the Hawaii International Relief Organization: "As community leaders here, we always believe in tragedies like this, it's our responsibility to respond. Being Filipino, you understand the kind of life they live there. You want to help the people and preserve the culture."
In 2004, the organization raised about $116,000 after typhoons and tropical storms devastated the northeastern Philippines.
The Aloha Medical Mission said medical supplies, such as antibiotics and cough medicine, are typically sent first since survivors are at risk for pneumonia and colds.
The group would need at least $10,000 to ship medical supplies there.
Fengshen flooded many villages, knocking out electricity, and capsized a ferry that carried more than 740 passengers and crew.