Elected officials call for aid to Philippines
by Andrew Pavia
Nov 22, 2013 | 360 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
State senators Michael Gianaris and Toby Stavisky at a forum urging Queens residents to donate supplies to victims of Typhoon Haiyan.
State senators Michael Gianaris and Toby Stavisky at a forum urging Queens residents to donate supplies to victims of Typhoon Haiyan.
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Following the devastation from Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, many Queens residents have found it difficult to contact relatives and loved ones that were affected by the storm.

In an effort to bring aid to the people of the Philippines as well as provide local residents with a way of reaching their relatives, local elected officials have teamed up with the Red Cross and the National Alliance of Filipino Concerns (NAFCON).

Woodside is home to one of the largest Filipino populations in the city, including a small pocket nicknamed “Little Manila.” Residents have been seeking assistance with finding family members that were caught in the typhoon.

“The Greater New York Red Cross is committed to supporting New Yorkers concerned about loved ones in the Philippines,” said Josh Lockwod, CEO of American Red Cross Greater New York Region. “One of the ways in which we are assisting locally is through our call center for New Yorkers trying to locate loved ones in the Philippines, as well as those coping with emotional trauma caused by the storm.”

For assistance, residents should call (877) 733-2767.

Meanwhile, a rally and community forum was held last week to highlight the need for residents to donate items and supplies to aid those affected by the storm. One drop-off point is State Senator Michael Gianaris’ office, located at 31-39 Newtown Ave., Suite 402, in Astoria.

“As New Yorkers, we take pride in the diversity of our neighborhoods, and we take pride in the thriving Filipino community in Woodside,” said Gianaris. “In times of disaster, we come together to recover and I am proud to see the efforts already underway here in Queens.”

Some believe that the government in the Philippines is not up to the task of dealing with the severe devastation.

“This is the worst humanitarian crisis in Philippine history, and the Philippine government is not responding adequately,” said a NAFCON spokesperson. “It is up to the community to send aid and relief.”

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