In an effort to bring relief to those affected by Typhoon Haiyan, which devastated the Philippines on Friday, Nov. 8, student groups at UR have begun to organize several events to encourage community outreach.

Typhoon Haiyan, deemed the second deadliest typhoon to affect the Philippines, has left over 3,600 dead and approximately 1 million displaced from their homes. Striking only a month after a 7.4 magnitude earthquake hit the island nation, the storm reversed progress on rebuilding efforts across the country and created the demand for further aid.

Beginning last Saturday and tentatively continuing until Thanksgiving break, the Filipino American Students’ Association (FASA), in collaboration with Alpha Phi Omega, is collecting both URos and cash donations to raise money and for relief supplies.

“The idea is really to just get awareness out,” FASA Vice President and junior Tessie LaMourea said. “The hope is that if people become aware, they’ll be motivated to do something about it.”

LaMourea did not establish a target for monetary contributions, only expressing her hope that students will act out of generosity. She has spent extended periods of time in the Philippines, so she understands the impact the disaster may have had.

Beyond financial contributions, FASA’s primary goal is also awareness, LaMourea said.

“A lot of people across campus wanted to pool together to raise awareness,” FASA President and senior Jennifer Sharp said.

Following the Vice and Virtue dinner and date auction, the Chinese Students’ Association and the Korean American Students’ Association decided to allocate half of the event’s proceeds to FASA and the Philippine Red Cross.

“It’s really cool to see everyone coming together and saying, ‘Yes, we understand that something major happened, and we really want to help,’” LaMourea said.

The Newman Catholic Community has also participated in the on-campus relief effort. Last weekend, its members raised a total of $388 in student contributions. They will continue collecting donations during the upcoming weekend, after which they will be donated to Catholic Relief Services.

FASA hopes to sustain its commitment to aiding the Philippines. In cooperation with the Japanese Students’ Association, FASA will plan a benefit concert for the spring semester, including a cappella, dance, and cultural entertainment.

“When the media coverage and the pictures fade out, people tend to forget that it ever happened,” LaMourea said. “[In reality, it’s a very ongoing, long-term process.”

Douglas is a member of the class of 2017.



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