Help for the Philippines

Teachers care about the friends and families of colleagues, students, and neighbors.

Filipino Community Center

American Red Cross

Philippine Red Cross

Kokua for the Philippines Concert

(Posted November 19, 2013)

Banks take donations for typhoon relief

By Sarah Zoellick

As part of the Aloha for Philippines effort, all 11 member banks of the Hawaii Bankers Association are now accepting donations for Typhoon Hai­yan victims at 300 branch locations statewide.

Participating banks include American Savings Bank, Bank of Hawaii, Bank of the Orient, Central Pacific Bank, Finance Factors, First Hawaiian Bank, Hawaii National Bank, HomeStreet Bank, Ohana Pacific Bank, Pacific Rim Bank and Territorial Savings Bank.

The fundraising effort, announced by the association Monday, echoes the Aloha for Japan campaign, which raised more than $3 million in 2011 for Japa­nese tsunami victims. “We’d like to do that again,” said Edward Pei, executive director of the Hawaii Bankers Association.

Donors may elect to give money to the American Red Cross or the Filipino Community Center in Wai­pahu, which has partnered with the Consuelo Foundation to send aid to the crippled country. Jon Matsu­oka, president and chief executive officer of the Consuelo Foundation, said the organization plans to match up to $2 million in donations.

“We’re very much interested in restoring appropriate housing, restoring livelihoods,” Matsu­oka said. “And our mission at the foundation is really to promote the well-being of children and families, so the core of our money will be used for those purposes.”

A representative from the American Red Cross said it will be sending its funds to the Philippine Red Cross for humanitarian packages, mosquito nets, shelter repair work and, later in the recovery process, cash grants.

Pei said the banks will accept Aloha for Philippines donations through the end of the year.

The Hawaii Bankers Association represents all FDIC-insured depository institutions that operate in the state. Check donations can be deposited at any member bank and should be made payable to “American Red Cross — Aloha for Philippines” or “Filipino Community Center — Aloha for Philippines.”

A spokeswoman for First Hawaiian Bank said the company has contributed $100,000 to the effort and will be waiving wire transfer fees for customers sending funds directly to the Philippines.


» Aloha for Philippines shirts and hats are available for purchase at Buti­groove/ HiLife, at 500 Pii­koi St. and online at http://www.AlohaPlate com o.r Proce.eds will go to the Fili­pino Community Center in Wai­pahu to help with relief efforts in the Philippines.

» A group of local chefs, entertainers and others will stage “Chefs for Hope,” a culinary-focused fundraiser for survivors of Typhoon Hai­yan, Monday at the Neal Blaisdell Center.

Confirmed participants include 12th Ave Grill, Alan Wong’s, the Beachhouse at the Moana, Cafe Laufer, Centerplate, d.k Steak House, HASR Bistro, Hawaiian Spring Water, Hiroshi, Hy’s Steak House, Hoku’s, Japengo, JJ Bistro & French Pastry, Kakaako Kitchen, La Tour Cafe, Mariposa, Michel’s at the Colony Surf, Morimoto, Nico’s, Nori’s, Ola at the Turtle Bay Resort, Paradise Beverages, Poke Stop, Rakuen Sushi Bar/Mercury Pub, Roy’s, SALT, Sansei Sushi Bar & Restaurant, Side Street Inn, Southern Wine & Spirits, Tango Contemporary Cafe, The Pacific Club and World Sake Imports Beverages.

The entertainment lineup includes the Brothers Cazimero, Hapa, Raiatea Helm, Jordan Segundo and more.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. for VIP and reserved seating and 6:30 for general admission. VIP tables of 10 cost $5,000; reserved seating for 10 is priced at $1,500; and $100 for individual grazing tickets. One hundred percent of ticket sales will be donated to the Salvation Army. Tickets are available at the Neal Blaisdell box office. For more information, call 585-0011.

Teachers kokua Philippines



The Philippines needs our help

Reuters_Voice of America News

(Reuters / Voice of America News)

The news is horrifying to all, and heartbreaking to Hawaii’s fast-growing Filipino population, nearly all of which maintains ties with the Philippines. The public’s help with that country’s recovery is needed urgently.

Typhoon Haiyan struck with devastating force last week. Now the death toll and the tales of misery of the survivors are growing by the minute, as communications breakdowns are overcome and more information comes to light.

Officials in Manila have estimated that more than 4.2 million people across the nation’s 36 provinces were affected by the superstorm, which tore through the country with winds gusting to nearly 200 mph.

In the midst of the Veterans Day weekend, members of Hawaii’s armed forces were at work helping with logistics and humanitarian relief throughout the country. The Philippines government has approached America’s military for assistance, and the U.S. Pacific Command has been tapped for support. The commander of U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific, is leading the effort.

This is nothing new for the federal government, which has responded to more than 40 disasters in the Philippines, counting from only 1990.

The initial focus of this outreach has been search and rescue, enabled by the use of helicopter and fixed-wing craft that are equipped to function in short take-off and landing allowances, officials said.

All of that comprises a critical element at this stage, but as the world has witnessed in many previous disasters, recovery is a matter of months and years, and a great deal of resources will be required over the long haul.

The Filipino Community Center is at the center of the efforts locally, and is collecting donations made out in its name, with the notation, “Philippines disaster relief.” Edmund Aczon, the center’s board chairman, said the hope is to partner with proven charities with a presence here and in the Philippines, such as the Consuelo Foundation and Child & Family Services, and to create a permanent disaster relief operation based in Honolulu.

That would be a prudent move, given that the Philippines lies in the path of the worst storms. In addition, the center has pledged to do careful financial reporting so that contributors have confidence that their gifts have maximum effect.

The Better Business Bureau has frequently advocated that potential donors do their own due diligence, withholding donations until they vet the charity for themselves. This advice bears repeating.

Meanwhile, some reputable charities are already pitching in with Haiyan relief, and several — including UNICEF, the Philippine Red Cross, Save the Children and Catholic Relief Services — have mobilized operations on the ground.

Here at home, a “Kokua Philippines” concert fundraiser is being planned for Dec. 1, an event that surely will help to boost relief revenue. But it will also gather people determined to help a country dear to Hawaii’s heart.

So many isle residents are deeply worried about distant loved ones, and that togetherness might boost their spirits, too.