CAMDEN — As recovery efforts from Typhoon Haiyan continue throughout southeast Asia, Filipino students from Rutgers–Camden are leading a campus-wide fundraiser to help the millions of displaced families still seeking relief from the devastation caused by the Nov. 8 storm.
“We’re doing all that we can do to help,” says Kristiana Rivera, a sophomore biology major from Cherry Hill who has family living in the Philippines. “Fortunately, my family is safe, but my mom has friends who have been affected by the storm, some of whom have sick or missing family members. When I think about that, I think that it easily could have been my family.”
Rivera is a member of the student run Asian Cultural Society, which has already raised more than $500 through bake sales and game nights on the Rutgers–Camden campus. The group is donating the money to Convoy of Hope, a nonprofit organization that is supporting victims of the storm.
“We’re very surprised that we surpassed $500 and we want to raise as much money as we can,” says Apollo Entice, a sophomore nursing student from Butler who also has family living in the Philippines. “When I found out about the storm, I called my mom immediately and asked if everyone was OK. I have cousins and friends living in there. ”
Entice’s family was unaffected by the storm, but that did not deter him from working with his classmates to get the Rutgers–Camden community involved in contributing to the aid.
“We’re a relatively small campus, and our club is a small club, but we can still make a difference,” he says.
Known in the Philippines as Yolanda, the storm was one of the most powerful typhoons ever to make landfall, and its surges devastated many coastal communities. More than 5,000 people were killed and more than 1,600 have been reported missing.
Entice and Rivera say the Asian Cultural Club will continue to plan fundraising events through the end of the semester and they are coordinating their efforts with other campus organizations, such as the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs, which has already collected a large amount of clothes, shoes, and monetary donations for the relief effort. It is still accepting donations in room 318 in the Campus Center through the end of the semester.
To contribute to the Asian Cultural Society’s typhoon relief project, and to find out about future typhoon fundraising events sponsored by the society, email Rivera at firstname.lastname@example.org.