WOODSIDE — A neighborhood center in Woodside that's served the local Filipino community for the last six years has been struggling financially and is appealing to donors to help keep its operations going in 2014.
"We've actually been struggling for the past year," said Jonna Baldres, community action coordinator for Philippine Forum-New York, a grassroots organization that runs the Bayanihan Community Center.
She said the center's fiscal challenges are similar to those currently facing by many other nonprofits. The space is staffed by volunteers and relies largely on community support and donations, she added.
"That’s what we are trying to revive right now," Baldres said.
The center has been operating from its Woodside location since 2007, after relocating from Elmhurst. Baldres said the small space at 69th Street off Roosevelt Avenue was the perfect site for the group because of the neighborhood's diversity.
"It didn’t just become a Filipino center, but also [to] other immigrant communities as well," she said.
Over the years, the center has hosted language, computer and community theater classes, plus community events to commemorate important days in Filipino culture, as well as an annual Bayanihan Cultural Festival.
The center has also been vital in organizing locally to assist the Philippines in disaster relief efforts in recent years, collecting donated goods to send overseas. The center was the site of a community forum and vigil in November to call for aid to the victims of Typhoon Haiyan.
Baldes said they plan to host fundraising events in the coming months.
"We've been through these problems before, and we've risen above it," she said.