D.C. telethon raised $20K for Haiyan families

Photo: GMA News

Photo: GMA News

By Maricar CP Hampton

The NBC4 telethon fundraiser was held November 12. Volunteers were led by community leaders and advocates from KAYA: Filipino Americans for Progress manned the phones. The money collected will go to the Springfield, Virginia-based nonprofit Feed the Hungry Inc.

“We’re so used to these epidemics and calamities in the Philippines, but unfortunately this is the biggest of all the storms,” said Bing Branigin, a volunteer for Feed the Hungry.

Several groups in the D.C. area have organized two concerts in Alexandria and Virginia Beach. The efforts were originally intended for previous disasters including the Bohol earthquake in October, but organizers have shifted their focus to raise money for the Red Cross as their response to the storm’s aftermath.

President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle said they are deeply saddened by the loss of life.

“Michelle and I are deeply saddened by the loss of life and extensive damage done by Super Typhoon Yolanda. But I know the incredible resiliency of the Philippine people, and I am confident that the spirit of Bayanihan (communal work) will see you through this tragedy. The United States is already providing significant humanitarian assistance, and we stand ready to further assist the government’s relief and recovery efforts. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the millions of people affected by this devastating storm,” said a press statement issued by the White House.

Together with the U.S. government aid, international organizations and private relief groups began sending support in the form of cash and medicine.

The Asia America Initiative (AAI) coordinated an emergency flight of more than 6,398 kilos [7 tons] of medicines and medical supplies valued at close to $600,000.

“Severe weather and natural calamities during recent years have challenged the people in the Philippines like no other country in the world, “ said AAI President Albert Santoli. “We are honored to have hard-working local partners like the Philippine Red Cross and private organizations on both sides of the Pacific Ocean such as One World Institute and IPI Foundation. I respect the courage and perseverance of the Filipino people of all religions and cultures.”

Virginia Delegate, Ron Villanueva will host a fundraising event at the Grandby Theater in Norfolk. Proceeds will go directly to the Philippine Red Cross to help typhoon victims.

Here is a list of organizations where to send your donations:

ABS-CBN

FABA of Metro D.C.

Feed the Hungry

Philippine Nurses Association of Metropolitan, DC

Philippine Red Cross

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