Queens' Filipino Community Organizing Relief Efforts in Wake of Typhoon

By Jeanmarie Evelly on November 13, 2013 2:29pm 

 Rommel Del Rosario, who runs a shipping business in Woodside, collected donations for victims of Typhoon Haiyan.
Rommel Del Rosario, who runs a shipping business in Woodside, collected donations for victims of Typhoon Haiyan.
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DNAinfo/Jeanmarie Evelly

WOODSIDE — Residents of Queens' "Little Manila" are organizing relief efforts to support victims of the deadly Typhooon Haiyan in the Philipines.

In Woodside — a neighborhood that has many Filipino restaurants, bakeries and other businesses — Rommel Del Rosario started a clothing and dry goods drive at the storefront of his shipping company at 39-12 63rd St., off Roosevelt Avenue.

"There's no excuse — we have to help in our own way," said Del Rosario, 31, who described anxiety in the Filipino community after the typhoon.

"Everybody's worried, everybody's disturbed," he said.

Del Rosario's family, in Davao City, was unaffected by the storm. But he felt compelled to get involved after he saw the extent of the typhoon's destruction on the news.

"When I saw what happened, I told myself, 'I have to do something,'" he said.

Del Rosario's company, RDR Cargo Express, will accept donations of clothing, shoes, canned goods and other basic commodities through the end of November at its locations in Queens and New Jersey, located at 76 South Washington Ave. in Bergenfield, N.J.

The items will be sent to Manila by boat in shipping containers sent weekly. The goods will then be donated to the GMA Kapuso Foundation and Sagip Kapamilya, two organizations that are responding to the crisis, Del Rosario said.

He said several neighborhood organizations and people who wanted to send relief items had already contacted him.

"A lot of people wanted to help, the question is always how," he said.

Other local organizations are also joining in on relief efforts.

The National Alliance for Filipino Concerns will host a community forum and vigil for the victims of the storm Wednesday evening at the Bayanihan Community Center, at 40-21 69th St. in Woodside.

A forum discussion will take place at 6 p.m., followed by the vigil at 7:30 p.m., where participants will march from the community center to Roosevelt Avenue and 69th Street.

The Filipino-American Society at St. Joan of Arc Parish will hold its monthly Filipino mass service on Sunday at the church, located at 82-00 35th Ave. in Jackson Heights, starting at 1:30 p.m.

Immediately following the mass, at 2:30 p.m., organizers will be collecting clothing, canned goods and monetary donations, as well as hosting a bingo social, with the proceeds going to the relief effort.

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