SF Giants Asking Fans To Donate To Help Victims Of Typhoon Haiyan

Relief funding and resources for the destroyed regions of the Philippines following deadly Typhoon Haiyan earlier this month are continuing to pour in from the Bay Area, in part with the formation of a San Mateo County community task force.

A group of local community organizations, students, businesses and faith groups are banding together to form the Northern San Mateo County Task Force Haiyan to step up relief efforts for the victims of the tropical cyclone that hit the island nation on Nov. 8.

Through the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns, a nonprofit Filipino-American group, the launch of the local task force was scheduled for 6 p.m. at Westmoor High School in Daly City.

NAFCON organizer Ryan Leano said students from Westmoor High School and Oceana High School in Pacifica along with members of a local teachers’ union, youth groups, workers’ rights groups and a few local churches, comprise most of the newly formed group.

Other similar groups through the organization are forming throughout the U.S. to assist with disaster relief. A San Francisco group was established last week, according to Leano.

The task force is working to raise money to send to the storm-stricken Philippines, Leano said.

Tonight’s meeting was “to get everyone on the same page” and establish a group to plan future rehabilitation efforts, Leano said.

The storm killed thousands of residents within Tacloban City, one of the hardest hit areas in the Eastern Visayas region. Many other Filipino communities and cities were destroyed, and low-income communities are particularly reeling from the destruction.

More information about the task force is available at taskforcehaiyan.org.

A handful of Bay Area nurses through the Registered Nurse Response Network have arrived in the Philippines to help with medical needs in storm-struck regions, National Nurses United spokesman Chuck Idelson said.

The team of nurses arrived last Thursday and immediately went to work at a tent clinic set up at the Villamor Air Base.

The nurses have been working on the island of Panay where at least 6,000 families are being temporarily sheltered.

“They are right in the path of where the typhoon hit,” Idelson said.

The nurses are providing assistance in areas that were obliterated in the storm. Idelson said people lost everything including their homes, clothing, and livelihoods.

“You name it, they need it,” he said.

Another small group of nurses tapped from a pool of nearly 3,000 volunteer nurses from the U.S. and 15 countries will be heading to the disaster-struck region sometime next week, Idelson said.

The volunteer nurses are being dispatched in small batches to areas where they won’t get in the way and will be of most assistance, he said.

The San Francisco Giants are asking fans to donate money to relief efforts through the organizations Feed the Hungry and UNICEF.

Fans will receive a Filipino Heritage T-shirt if they give $30 or more through sfgiants.com/relief.

Filipino Heritage Nights will be held at the ballpark during the 2014 baseball season on May 12 and Aug. 15.

Proceeds from ticket sales for those nights will go toward relief efforts. Tickets for the heritage events go on sale on Nov. 29.

A Friday night benefit event will be held at San Francisco’s Drake Lounge at 508 Fourth St.

A coalition of local organizations headed by the Philippine Consulate General of San Francisco and Save the Children will host the charity event that includes a fashion show and auction.

Honorary co-hosts of the benefit include U.S. Reps. Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, and Jackie Speier, D-San Francisco, state Assemblymen Rob Bonta, D-Oakland, and Phil Ting, D-San Francisco, state Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, among other elected officials and dignitaries.

Organizers are asking for a $20 donation to attend. The money will be donated to Save the Children and ABS-CBN Foundation International, Feed the Hungry and the Global Fund for Women.

Later this week the Hayward Chapel of the Chimes is hosting a candlelight vigil in honor of the victims.

Donations made at the ceremony on Friday at 6:30 p.m. will be matched by the church, up to $5,000.

The money will benefit the American Red Cross relief fund, which goes toward repairing buildings and roads and supplying temporary housing and other food and medical needs.

The church is located at 32992 Mission Blvd. near the Hayward-Union City border.

On Sunday a benefit concert by the San Francisco Boys Chorus and members of the San Francisco Opera and Symphony choruses at the Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland.

Ticket proceeds for the 7 p.m. show at 2121 Harrison St. will go toward typhoon victim relief efforts through Catholic Relief Services.

More information is available at www.sfbc.org/benefitconcert.

Sasha Lekach, Bay City News

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