Filipinos in Chicago unite to help victims of Typhoon Haiyan

Tue. November 12, 2013 12:13 PM by News Staff

Tuesday last day to donate at Irving Park and Southport

Chicago, IL - Filipino groups in Chicago are responding to Friday's devastating typhoon that's left at least 10,000 dead in the Philippines and caused untold damage to the Southeast Asian nation. Typhoon Haiyan is being reported as one of the most powerful typhoons ever recorded on top of being the second category five typhoon to strike the island nation this year -- and all signs point to more on the way.

One local effort is being lead by Filipinos and Friends in Chicago (FINC), the same group who won 'Best All Around Float' in this summer's Pride Parade.

"We didn't realize the full scope of destruction that the typhoon brought until days later when the communication channels were fixed," Ryan James Basa, president of FINC, told "What we need to focus on right now is to let the Filipinos in Chicago and around the world know on how they can help the victims of Haiyan typhoon."

Their relief cause, Help for Haiyan, was born out of a status posted on Facebook by one of FINC's elite dancers, Apple Umali. She advertised a 45-foot shipping container that will deliver food, clothes and other donations directly to the Philippine Red Cross for free and encouraged people to start donating immediately. Her post was subsequently reposted by Filipinos around Chicago and vent viral among Filipino Facebook group pages, bringing in support from all corners of the community.

Help for Haiyan found it's official drop-off location at the Rizal Center, 1332 W. Irving Park Road, Chicago, but expanded it's efforts to also have volunteers pick-up donations from around the city as well as in the surrounding suburbs. Tuesday, Nov. 12 is the last day to stop by the center for donations, as the C130 cargo plane is picking them up Wednesday morning.

Update: Following an overwhelming response, donations continue at the Rizal Center, 1332 W. Irving Park Road on Wednesday, Nov. 13 until 9 p.m. Food and first aid kits are priority items. 

After the devastating effects of Typhoon Haiyan it isn't certain whether commercial establishments such as stores and supermarkets are functioning, so Help for Haiyan is asking for consumer goods over monetary donations. The most needed items are (in this order) baby clothes, formula and diapers, canned goods and can openers, tents, candles, flashlights, batteries, first aid kits, shoes and hygiene items. Umali also called for volunteers at the Riza Center (all interested parties can check out the post on her Facebook page.)

"This is not about FINC anymore, this is the whole Filipinos around the world uniting as one helping our motherland," Brasa said.

Help for Haiyan is continuing to accept donations until 9 p.m. tonight at the center near Irving Park and Southport, but there are many additional ways you can help the relief effort for Typhoon Haiyan. The World Food Programme, Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders and UNICEF are only a few of the many large-scale organizations accepting donations to help the victims of Typhoon Haiyan. A larger list, complete with websites, can be seen in the adjoining picture and still more in this list assembled by the Huffington Post.

There are also several events in Chicago benefiting relief efforts for Typhoon Haiyan, including the following, which were sent to from Basa with this message:

"I hope you can help our country by including some of the information on how the readers of can donate. Every single donation, and every single act of kindness will go a long way."

FRI, 11/15 

Event: Fundraiser lunch at Sunda Hosted by: Billy Dec, Philippine Consul General, Filipino American Network (FAN) of Chicago, FABEX Chicago (Philippine American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Chicago), Filipino American Lawyers Association of Chicago and National Filipino American Lawyers Location: Sunda (110 W Illinois St., Chicago) Time: 11:30am Proceeds to: Philippine Red Cross

SAT, 11/16

Event: Head shots/portraits fundraiser Hosted by: Misha MediaLocation: Misha Media Photography Studio (1608 Colonial Pkwy, Inverness Time: 10:00am Proceeds to: Philippine Red Cross

SUN, 11/17 & SUN, 11/24

Event: Fundraiser buffet at Kusinang Pinoy Hosted by: Kusinang Pinoy Location: Kusinang Pinoy (16150 S Cicero Ave, Oak Forest) Proceeds to: TBA

SAT, 11/30

Event: Fundraiser at 40tude Hosted by: TIBOS & 40tude LLC Location: 40tude Bistro & Bar (1318 N. Roselle Road, Schaumburg) Time: 7:00pm Proceeds to: TBA

SAT, 12/7

Event: ONE VOICE THIS CHRISTMAS With ARIA and Friends Hosted by: ARIA (Divine Aleonar, Nina Mae Vidal & Jerick Torreno), Bagwis Collective Location: Decibel Bar (4437 N Broadway St., Chicago) Time: 7:00pm Proceeds to: TBA

SAT, 12/7

Event: PHILIPPINE RELIEF: BENEFIT CONCERT Hosted by: Diamonds Production, RAM Entertainment, KHK Foundation and Ascene Chicago Location: TBA Time: TBA Proceeds to: RELIEF (KHK Foundation)