November 11, 2013
The clean up of Typhoon Haiyan is underway in the Philippines. The Organization of Young Filipino Americans (OYFA) at the University of Virginia is raising money for the country that is now devastated by the storm.
Angeli Mendoza is a UVa. student and a member of OYFA with many family members in the center of the devastation.
"The last time we heard from them, or my mom heard anything about her parents, she said the last thing that they told her was that the roof of their house had blown off," said Mendoza. "That is not something you want to hear before there is a two or three day gap before you hear from them again."
Mendoza's dad, grandparents, sister, aunts, uncles, and cousins are in one of the hardest hit areas by Typhoon Haiyan.
"My grandfather is actually a physician and his clinic is completely gone now but knowing him, I haven't heard from him, but knowing him, he's still doing his part to make sure everyone is OK," said Mendoza.
Monday Morning, Mendoza found out from her aunt that her family in the Philippines is OK.
"This weekend has been the longest weekends of my family's life or my life for that matter," explained Mendoza.
OYFA is raising disaster relief money for the Philippine Red Cross. The group recently launched an emergency relief fundraising campaign.
"This is a really important cause especially for our organization because a lot of the people within it are affected by this disaster," said Camille Lorenzana, president of OYFA.
Lorenzana moved to the United Stated from the Philippines when she was 10. Her family on the islands weren't affected by the storm.
"It's hard to look at the pictures and just to imagine what they are going through," said Lorenzana.
OYFA is also a support system for its members as they grapple with the magnitude of Typhoon Haiyan.
"I think not being able to hear their voice is the hardest thing," said Mendoza. "I have to take it on faith that they are OK."
To donate and find out more about OYFA's fundraising events that will benefit the victims of Typhoon Haiyan, click here.