LAKEVIEW — After a devastating typhoon left at least 10,000 people dead in the Philippines, a local Filipino heritage group has stepped up to raise cash for relief efforts.
"I know there's a lot of families here who still have family in the Philippines," said Thelma Bascos, president of the Filipino American Council of Chicago. "They're nervous. There's no way to get in touch with people there."
On Friday, Typhoon Haiyan — one of the strongest typhoons ever recorded — made landfall in the Philippines. It barreled through the island country's midsection — leveling homes, flooding towns and killing as many as 10,000 people, senior officials reported.
The situation worsened over the weekend as looters took advantage of the chaos. According to ground reports, those who survived are struggling to find food, water and clothing. Medical supplies are running low.
"It's really terrible," Bascos said. "And we have no idea what's going on over there because we can't reach anyone. My husband has a childhood friend in Tacloban [one of the cities hit hardest]. We don't know if he's OK. We're waiting still."
Bascos said blankets, clothing and food would probably make the biggest impact in the Philippines, but shipping items from Chicago is costly and impractical.
Instead, her organization is collecting monetary donations, which will be sent to the Philippine Red Cross on behalf of Chicago's Filipino community.
Checks can be made out to "FACC," short for the Filipino American Council of Chicago, and dropped off at the group's headquarters, 1332 W. Irving Park Road.
The Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago also announced it was raising funds to help those affected by the storm. Donations can be made online, by calling 312-444-2869, or by sending a check to the Jewish Federation Typhoon Haiyan Relief Fund, Room 3022, 30 S. Wells St., Chicago, IL 60606.