Bay Area groups raise money for typhoon victims


Four Filipino organizations are sponsoring a candlelight vigil that will take place Wednesday night. They represent students, artists, and workers. They are trying to raise awareness that community-based organizations are raising money, too.

Emergency relief supplies are starting to arrive in hard-hit areas, but there is growing concern millions are not going to survive.

Ruby Ibarra is a San Francisco artist whose family lives in Tacloban, a city devastated by Super Typhoon Haiyan.

"These survivors that are over there right now are scrambling for food," Ibarra said. "A lot of them, I fear, may lose their lives because of hunger."

That's why Bay Area community groups that have been supporting grassroots organizations in the Philippines for many years are hoping donors will consider making contributions to people who know the area best.

"Other efforts, national and international efforts are great, and we're not saying don't do that, but if people have that preference -- and that's why they've been approaching us -- if they want to know 100 percent of the proceeds of their donations will go to communities on the ground in the Philippines," said Terrence Valen with the National Alliance of Filipino Concern.

Valen says close to $100,000 has already been raised by community-based groups. That money is already on its way to the Philippines. Supporters and donors gathered Wednesday morning to pray for the welfare of the survivors.

In the South Bay, the San Jose office of the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation is also engaged in a grassroots fundraising campaign, reaching out to Silicon Valley companies and to the Buddhist community. Tzu Chi is known for its humanitarian efforts, providing money to victims of 9/11, Superstorm Sandy, and the earthquake in Haiti.

The money it raises will go toward emergency food packs and blankets made of recycled bottles.

"We need to treat people like family members," said Austin Tsao with the Tzu Chi Foundation. "When your family member suffers, you want to help them, so we have the same attitude to help people who are in need."


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