Express Week

Typhoon Relief Fundraiser Raised $25K In Jersey City

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JERSEY CITY -- Within a week of the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan, when the Filipino American community was still coming to grips with the aftermath and the urgent need for immediate relief aid, Jersey City Council President Rolando Lavarro quickly assembled a fundraiser to begin driving cash donations to contribute to the massive relief and recovery effort.  


On Thursday, November 14, a fundraiser co-hosted by Lavarro and Mayor Steve Fulop was held at Porto Lounge, simply asking people to come and donate.  Fueled by media, social media, and word of mouth, nearly 300 guests packed the venue and raised $23,000 in one night, including attendance by various local, state, and federal elected officials.  Donations are still coming and expected to total well over $25,000 from this one event. 

“It was very moving and inspiring to see so many come together and respond so generously and compassionately to a humanitarian crisis taking place half way around the world,” said Lavarro.  “Like Sandy a year ago, Jersey City’s diverse community and our neighbors showed extraordinary kindness, sympathy, and heart.” 

The event became an opportunity to display a global bayanihan spirit, as images from the devastation flashed across TV screens, and flyers for other relief efforts were passed around.  Families, friends, and strangers came together to share their collective sorrow and support for a distressed nation.  With media on hand, the event provided a spotlight for the growing community-driven efforts and the groundswell of local typhoon relief activities. 

“We all can do a little something and there are many efforts taking place that we can support to help our kababayan who are crying for help,” said Lavarro. “Whether it’s Mane Source Barbershop who donated proceeds from haircuts, PACCAL organizing relief goods drop-off, ANCOP and their online donor appeal, or Kirby Asunto headlining a benefit concert -- people are finding ways to rally the community and give to an entire nation in one of its most dire moments.” 

From a USAID report, as of November 15, Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan had affected an estimated 9 million people and displaced nearly 2 million individuals across 44 provinces, according to the NDRRMC.  The confirmed death toll stands at 3,631, although the figure will likely continue to fluctuate pending further verification by the Philippine Government. 

USAID recommends a list of humanitarian organizations that are accepting cash donations for disaster responses around the world that can be found at  Various community-driven relief efforts around the country can be found on Facebook, such as COMMUNITY CALENDAR: NYC Fundraising Events for Typhoon Haiyan Relief ( 

If you have typhoon-relief information that you would like to share, Councilman Lavarro can be reached at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or on Facebook (Rolando Lavarro Jr.), and Twitter (@rlavarro).

The Filipino Express

2711 John F. Kennedy Boulevard
Jersey City, NJ 07306 USA.

Phone: 201 434-1114
Fax: 201 434-0880

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