Express Week

‘Yolanda’ Donations from US Northeast keep coming

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The Philippine Consulate General in New York has reported that more and more organizations, groups and individuals within the US Northeast are giving donations for the typhoon-devastated areas in the Philippines.

 

The Philippine-American Association of Connecticut started a fundraising drive on 16 November and has so far raised $28,000. Some funds had already been distributed to Operation Blessings Foundation Philippines and Benedictine Sisters in Tacloban.

The Filipino Executive Council of Greater Philadelphia’s fund drive has so far reached $23,000 benefitting the Catholic Relief Services.

The Filipino Community Development Center in Toms River, New Jersey, on the other hand, has collected $35,000 for the benefit of ABS-CBN Foundation, Catholic Relief Services and Habitat for Humanity.

The Massachusetts-based Philippine-American Mainstream Advocacy of Nonpartisan Associations, Inc. and the Pilipino-American Association of New England, Inc. (PAMAS) (PAMANA) also donated $2,200 and $2,500, respectively, for the Build-a-Shelter Project of the Philippine Jesuit Foundation (PJF) and the Friends of FilCom.

A group called of Friends of the Philippine Mission to the United Nations gathered together to stage a benefit concert at the Philippine Center on 19 November that raised $10,000 and was given to the Handang Tumulong Foundation.

On 23 November, the Philippine American Friendship Committee held a fundraiser at the New Jersey City University that generated $6,800 donations for the ABS-CBN Foundation.

The original cast of the acclaimed musical Here Lies Love performed a one-time-only special benefit concert on 25 November at Terminal 5 that raised about $100,000 for Doctors Without Borders’ relief efforts in the Philippines.

On 29 November, the "Fair Lawn Filipino Relief Friday" was held at Fair Lawn, New Jersey, spearheaded by Fair Lawn Mayor John Cosgrove and the Filipino American Association of Fair Lawn, Inc. The event raised about $18,000 in cash donations which were given to various non-government organizations in the Philippines.

The Philadelphia Police Asian American Advisory Committee (PPAAAC) held a typhoon relief fundraiser on 12 December that generated $1,660 for the Build-a-Shelter Project.

On 17 December, Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop and Filipino–American Council President Rolando Lavarro turned over to Mr. Mathieu Nelessen, Regional Chief Executive Officer of the American Red Cross (ARC), a check amounting to $25,000 for the ARC’s Haiyan Relief Fund. Mayor Fulop and Council President Lavarro initiated fundraising activities beginning 14 November. Consul General Mario De Leon, Jr. and DCG Zaldy Patron witnessed the ceremony at the City Hall of Jersey City, New Jersey.

The two counties of Long Island, New York – Suffolk County and Nassau County – held separate press conferences on their respective donations for the Philippines.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone held a press conference on 18 December, announcing the shipment of 10 pallets of meals ready to eat (MREs) and 10 pallets of bottled water for ABS-CBN Foundation. The AFYA Foundation of Yonker, New York paid for the shipment of the supplies.

The next day, Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano had his own press conference for the county’s donation of 528 cases of MREs, which were shipped through RDR Cargo Express and consigned to ABS-CBN Foundation.

In a forum hosted by the United Nations International School (UNIS) in New York on 19 December, student groups announced that they had raised more than $20,000 in donations, part of it will be given to UNICEF.

On the same day, students of Yuichi Shikanai Japanese School in New Jersey gave cash donation of $511 to the PJF through Consul General De Leon.

Consul General De Leon thanked all the donors for their generosity. “I am overwhelmed by the continued support we are getting from the community groups, private companies, faith-based groups, schools and individuals within the US Northeast for the typhoon victims in the Philippines. So far, we have already monitored donations worth at least $8.5 million coming from our region. I hope that they will continue to assist the typhoon-devastated areas through projects that will help in the reconstruction and rehabilitation of their communities.”

Consul General De Leon also welcomed the recent launching of the Philippine Government’s Reconstruction Assistance on Yolanda (RAY), a strategic plan to guide the recovery and reconstruction of the economy, lives, and livelihoods of people and communities in the areas affected by Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan). The plan, which was presented on 18 December in Manila to various donors and partners, aims to restore the economic and social conditions of the said areas at the very least to their pre-typhoon levels and to a higher level of disaster resilience.

According to RAY, the Philippines will need a total of $8.17 billion for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the devastated areas. About $0.78 billion will be spent for critical immediate actions, $2.05 billion for short-term interventions throughout 2014, and the rest, about $5.34 billion, for medium-term needs from 2015 to 2017.

 

“I encourage our community to re-focus their future socio-economic and charitable projects and even their medical missions to the typhoon-devastated places to support the Government’s reconstruction plan. It will also be good if they can support projects that will have more concrete and lasting impact, such as the “Build-A-Shelter Project” of the Friends of FilCom and the Philippine Jesuit Foundation,” Consul General De Leon added. 

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