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New Jersey Filipinos Offer Help to Typhoon Victims

An aerial view of buildings destroyed in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan over the Leyte province, Philippines
An aerial view of buildings destroyed in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan over the Leyte province, Philippines (Ryan Lim/Malacanang Photo Bureau via Getty Images)

Filipinos in New Jersey are starting to offer help to victims of Typhoon Haiyan as the massive cleanup begins from what is being termed the worst storm in history.

Palletized equipment is loaded onto a KC-130J Hercules aircraft at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma during preparation for a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief mission to the Philippines
Palletized equipment is loaded onto a KC-130J Hercules aircraft at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma during preparation for a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief mission to the Philippines ( Lance Cpl. David N. Hersey/U.S. Marines via Getty Images)

Donation boxes were cropping up Monday on counters at Filipino businesses throughout Jersey City’s Little Manila neighborhood, home to about 16,000 of New Jersey’s estimated 100,000 Filipinos.

Bea Sabino, a Filipina community organizer, says the focus is on collecting financial donations through the group The National Alliance for Filipino Concerns.

Although people have been dropping off food, clothing and other supplies at various locations, organizers say past experience has shown a lack of infrastructure and complex bureaucracy in the Philippines makes sending goods there quickly very difficult.

A group of Filipinos met in Jersey City on Sunday to come up with a plan on how to help reports the Star-Ledger. “They’re injured, they’re hungry, they’re thirsty,” Zlady Patron, a deputy consul general from the Philippine Consulate in Manhattan told the meeting. “They will need food. They will need medicine. They will need blankets.”

Jersey City Council President Rolando Lavarro says there may be a fundraising event on Saturday. The Filipino Executive Council of Greater Philadelphia is also working on a relief program to help those affected by the typhoon as well.

Diane Concannon, a spokeswoman for the Red Cross’s North Jersey Region, tells the Star-Ledger she expects that New Jersey residents can relate more to what those in the Phillipines are experiencing thanks to Superstorm Sandy.

Donations of cash are the preferred method of help; donations can be made directly to the Philipine government at their website or to the American Red Cross via their website at redcross.org, by calling (800) RED-CROSS or texting REDCROSS to 90999. UNICEF, and the World Food Program are also accepting donations via their websites.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report

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