By Gitzel Puente. CREATED Nov 12, 2013
CATHEDRAL CITY - The Filipino community in the desert is very tight-knit, especially when natural disasters strike like Typhoon Haiyan.
Volunteers and members of the Filipino-American Association of the Coachella Valley have started relief efforts for those affected by the typhoon. They're asking for any donation: food, water, clothes, over-the-counter medicine.
"We can use a lot more. We're sending them in big boxes," said Oscar Rodas, the association's president.
Some of Rodas' family members in the Philippines lost their homes when the typhoon passed through their island of Masbate. According to the President of the Philippines, Benigno Aquino, as many as 2500 people are feared dead.
Many Valley residents, like Salvatore Balgomar from La Quinta, are helping out with the relief efforts, stopping by the organization to drop off donations.
"My father came from the Philippines. Especially Samal where it was hit the hardest, I felt like I had to do something. I try to do whatever I can and today is the beginning," expressed Balgomar, dropping off some of his old clothes.
Two years ago, this same organization mobilized relief efforts after the deadly tropical storm Washi hit the Philippines, killing hundreds.
Rodas said as long as there are people who need help, the organization will continue to do everything it can to meet those needs.
"I'm so glad we're able to unite and get into one big project, no matter what organizations you are," said Rodas.
For more information on how you can help, visit the Facebook page for the Filipino-American Association of the Coachella Valley. You can also call (760) 324-6852 or contact Rodas at email@example.com.
Another relief effort locally is by the Filipino American Golf Association, which is planning a golf tournament for December 1 at Classic Club Golf in Palm Desert. The cost is $80, and all the proceeds will go to aid Typhoon Haiyan survivors. The tournament's organizer, Rudy Villar, said they will also accept donated goods at the event. For more information, contact Villar at (760) 880-1424.