Canada and New York businesses unite for ‘Yolanda’ fundraisers

By Don Tagala & Monette Rivera, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Dec. 5, 2013

NEW YORK – In Montreal, Canada, Kasal NY—a New York-based wedding and events planning company raised more than $2,000 for ABS-CBN Foundation’s Sagip Kapamilya program.

Local businesses, some Filipino-owned, chipped in.

“I think it’s our duty as fellow humans to reach out,” business owner Kathy Papandrea said. “To see someone hurt and have a hard time and have families taken away from them, it’s a human duty that we need to do that.”

“Every country in the world, if this happens to their country they would feel what the Filipinos feel,” Manny Sgourakis, another business owner said. “So as soon as you put yourself in their shoes, your heart opens up.”

“It’s really amazing,” Kasal New York owner Lyna Larcia-Calavario said. “As little as we think we are as a country, we are getting so much love from all these big countries. They’re really helpful and they’re really willing to give us a hand during this time of disaster.”

Meantime, in New York, Filipino fashion designer Robin Tomas, son of comedian Tessie Tomas, is using is reaching out to kababayans in need.

Tomas recently launched his online store TomasNYC.com, as well as his holiday and resort collections.

His mother Tessie hails from Samar, one of the areas severely damaged by Typhoon Yolanda.

“Until the end of the year 10% of all of our sales go to the victims back home,” Tomas said. “You have to help. It’s really hard for me being a Filipino to be far away and not be able to [help] directly. If we helped other countries before that were ravaged by disasters, what more the Philippines?”

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