PORT HARDY—It probably wasn’t her first choice, but this year Joy Magpatoc’s birthday wish will be granted.
After Typhoon Haiyan devastated the Philippines earlier this month, fundraisers on the North Island and across the world have been collecting in support of those affected.
And Magpatoc’s birthday celebration will be the latest.
During last weekend’s Haiyan fundraiser at the St. Columba Anglican Church plans were hatched to throw a benefit dinner in lieu of a traditional celebration after Magpatoc expressed her preference.
So this Saturday, Nov. 23, the church will host a $10 per plate Turkey dinner from 5- 7 p.m., seeking to maximize contributions ahead of a Dec. 9 deadline. Until that date, the Canadian Government has pledged to match donations dollar-for-dollar.
“So many British Columbians have roots in the Philippines — family or friends the storm has left homeless, missing or waiting to be rescued,” said Premier Christy Clark in a release. “The provincial government will match every dollar British Columbians donate to the Canadian Red Cross — up to $300,000. This will support search-and-rescue missions and provide assistance on the ground. I encourage all British Columbians to dig deep and do what they can to help.”
After last weekend, local efforts are already off to an impressive start — over $5,500 was raised in a single day.
“I’m just so surprised at how the community has rallied round,” said Treasurer Judy Fyles. “ Of course, there is a large Filipino community here, but the support has been amazing.”
Many of those at the appeal had relations affected by the disaster, and while relatives were confirmed safe through fleeting Facebook messages and the like, there was still concern for friends in the region.
Cash donated to the appeal will go to the Canadian Red Cross Typhoon Haiyan appeal through the local Scotiabank branch.
Cheques and online donations will be directed to the Primates World Relief and Development Fund and The United Church of Canada. Both these church organizations already have a local organization in the Philippines, the ACT Alliance, which is actively supporting those affected by the typhoon.
To make a donation to the appeal there are several local options: Scotiabank is accepting donations on behalf of the Red Cross; online at www.united-church.ca/haiyan or www.pwrdf.org; or cheques can be dropped off to Magpatoc at Port Hardy’s Greyhound office.
“A number of people living in Port Hardy are from the Philippines and have relatives still living there,” noted Fyles in a statement. “So this is hitting close to home. Thank you Port Hardy.”