On behalf of the Filipino community, I would like to thank the people of Secaucus for their kindness and generosity to the thousands of Filipinos devastated by Typhoon Haiyan. Your overwhelming response to our fundraising campaign conveyed a message no words can express—that you stand in solidarity with the survivors in their time of trouble.
The Filipino Society would like to thank Mayor Michael Gonnelli for lending his leadership and inspiring the entire community to help. Within days following Typhoon Haiyan, Mayor Gonnelli called volunteers to action, and they packed more than 60 boxes of donated new clothes, 45 of which were immediately shipped to the Philippine Red Cross free-of-charge by LBC Secaucus. Together with Lisa Snedeker and her staff, our mayor also put into motion the “Dining-Out in Secaucus for Typhoon Haiyan Relief” project, which invited local restaurants to participate in a give-back for typhoon victims.
A special thanks to our Pastor, Father Joseph Pietropinto, for allowing the Filipino Society to solicit donations after all the masses at Immaculate Conception Churchon two weekends after the typhoon.Despite the freezing temperatures, the parishioners responded with warmth, kind words, and generosity that surpassed our expectations.
We are touched by the outpouring of concern and support by the entire Secaucus community. We are grateful for the substantial donations presented to us by the Secaucus Fire Department, Secaucus Emergency Fund, K&S Social and Athletic Club, Secaucus Unico, Inc., Secaucus Middle School, and town employees. We also thank St. Matthew’s Church and the Knights of Columbus for earmarking donations at their own events for Typhoon Haiyan Relief.
I am pleased to report that all the funds received (and future donations) were sent to nongovernmental charitable agencies in the Philippines. These agencies are: Gawad Kalinga, Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan (a Jesuit foundation), Caritas Manila, Inc., Habitat for Humanity Philippines, and National Book Store Foundation, Inc. (school rehab projects). These charities are currently working in the devastated areas and are committed to aiding the survivors to meet their basic needs and rebuild their homes, and providingthem with livelihood opportunities
While Typhoon Haiyan has bent our spirit, with your prayers and support, we will not be broken and we will turn despair to hope, tragedy to opportunity.
The Filipino Society
(by Maribel Anota)