Local Filipinos feeling effects of Typhoon Haiyan

Group collecting donations for victims

A disaster a world away has hit hard for some people in San Antonio.

Many of them have roots in the Philippines, which was slammed by Typhoon Haiyan on Sunday.

"I've been watching the news this morning and gosh, you'll see the whole area. It's washed out,” said Elizabeth Javier, a native of the Philippines.

Javier, who owns a Northwest Side restaurant called Filipino Express, said she has no immediate family in the region that was hit.

However, many of her customers do, and she has seen their struggles.

“They are trying to contact their families, but in the past few days, there is no communication,” she said.

An estimated 10,000 people in the southern portion of the country had been killed by the devastating floods.

Many of the survivors have been left without the basics, such as food and clothing, according to Laura Allison, founder of the Organization of Filipinos in Texas (OFT).

"The Filipinos are a very close-knit family. All of us are related somehow,” said Allison. "I am just out of whack. I don't know what to do. I don't know what to say."

Allison said she also has heard from members of her group who have relatives in the hardest hit areas.

Both she and Javier said they want to do what they can to help.

The two, along with other members of the OFT, are putting together several donation drives and fundraisers.

Javier said she will hold a plate sale at her restaurant on Dec. 13, with proceeds going to the relief effort.

In the meantime, she also has set up a box inside her business to collect non-perishable food and canned goods.

Allison said her organization is also prepared to accept monetary donations.

"Clothing -- anything -- because the ones that are still surviving, they said nothing was left,” she said.

Donations are being collected during business hours at Filipino Express, 4963 NW Loop 410.

The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 11 a.m. – 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday. It is closed on Sundays.

The American Red Cross also is accepting monetary donations through its website, redcross.org, or by phone at 1-800-Red-Cross.

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