The community is urged to show its support for those devastated by typhoon Haiyan by attending a fundraising bake sale Saturday at the Village Green Centre

The community is urged to show its support for those devastated by typhoon Haiyan by attending a fundraising bake sale Saturday at the Village Green Centre

Families rally to aid victims overseas

Vernon’s Filipino community is stepping up to lend a hand to families devastated by typhoon

As their families overseas have been devastated without food, clothing and shelter due to the destruction of typhoon Haiyan, Vernon’s Filipino community is stepping up to lend a hand.

Club Filipino of Okanagan-Shuswap and North Okanagan Filipino-Canadian Association are urging the larger community to help them raise funds to support those affected by the catastrophic storm, which hit the Philippines Nov. 8.

A bake sale will take place Saturday at the Village Green Centre, from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (between CIBC and Bootlegger).

Along with donations (tax receipts will be issued for donations $20 and over upon request), commercial baked goods are also being sought.

All proceeds will support typhoon emergency response efforts through the Development and Peace charity. Any donations given will also be matched by the Canadian government.

Those who cannot attend the fundraiser can also drop donations off at Rosalinda’s Filipino Kitchen or City Furniture. Or contact Angie Miranda, Club Filipino of Okanagan-Shuswap president, at 250-307-6231, or Aurora Munro, president of the North Okanagan Filipino-Canadian Association, at 250-307-1171. Cheques can be written to NOFCA.

As many local Filipinos have families still living in the Philippines, the initial news of the typhoon struck immense fear among all concerned.

“You just fear for the worst,” said Vernon’s Bernie Ramis, whose family was affected but were not as hard hit as those in the Tacloban/Samar/Leyte regions.

“The biggest concern was loss of communication. We had to rely on news channels and media to see how our loved ones are doing.

“A lot of areas are still not reachable.”

While his heart goes out to those who have yet to hear from their families (approximately 100,000 people currently living in British Columbia are of Filipino descent), Ramis is touched by the support of Greater Vernon so far.

“We’ve received phone calls from complete strangers asking if they can help and that is really touching.”

Those sentiments are echoed by Nenette Sharma.

“Watching the news, with so little left to the imagination, is truly a reality of desperation and helplessness, almost parallel to death itself,” said Sharma. “But what gives life to this tragedy, is the immediate action taken by all nations unified to  attain a  common goal – to help their brothers and sisters in need and with no boundaries.

“We, the Filipino community of Vernon are deeply touched and grateful for all the support given to our people and our country. We have not lost hope because people like you show there is a wonderful and loving world out there worth living for.”