On Friday, the Filipino Society in Taber (FST) presented Taber/Vauxhall Victim Services with a cheque for $1,200 which will be put towards relief efforts in the Pacific island nation.
The funds were gathered from the Filipino community in Taber, and various members of the organization.
The federal government has a matching funding program currently in place that will double the funds raised in the community.
“Since we heard about the calamity, we all decided to donate, because we have a small fund in our society,” said Bienvenido Antonio Bagot, president of the FST. “So we had $500 coming from our fund, and then we collected the remaining sum from the volunteers and members of the society.”
Taber/Vauxhall Victim Services, working together with the FST, visited many area businesses where Filipinos work and left information on how they might contribute donations to the Typhoon Haiyan Fund.
The FST has also been collecting donations of food and clothing, that were recently shipped out to Calgary in preparation for the long trip to the Philippines.
“We collected also clothing, and packed it. We had a cargo ship to ship out those goods to the Philippines, and they offered free cargo shipping with their partners there,” said Bagot. “Because it’s free, we collected all of this stuff and packed it. Later on, we realized it’s better to give it directly to the people in the Philippines. So we decided why not just give it directly to those persons, and relatives that are affected by the typhoon, and then they will be the ones who will be the recipients of those packages.”
Some 27 boxes of clothing and food have been shipped out to the affected regions, with a local shipper providing transport free of charge.
“The Taber community offered free shipping to Calgary through Taber Transport, to deliver those boxes to Calgary free of charge. The cargo shipping is offering a 50 per cent discount to deliver it to the people there. We have four members here affected in the typhoon there. Most of them are from Cebu, Samar, Bohol, Palo and Leyte.”
The FST and Taber/Vauxhall Victim Services are making efforts to ensure the clothing and food supplies will be distributed in areas that are still desperate for relief, including remote areas throughout the islands. Transportation concerns through affected areas have hampered relief efforts in many regions of the country.
The FST is also planning an upcoming food drive as part of ongoing relief efforts.