Floridians come together to help Taal volcano eruption victims

by Paul Garilao, ABS-CBN News

PENSACOLA, FL — Fears continue to mount of a more explosive and more dangerous Taal volcano eruption — as some 40,000 people living in danger zones have fled their homes, and are in desperate need of supplies in evacuation centers.

Thousands of miles away in the U.S., worried Fil-Am relatives, as well as concerned members of the community in the Florida panhandle, have come together to help the victims in northern Philippines.

Normie Rocafort-Kaibigan is from Lipa, Batangas. Her brother, who is a barangay captain, had to scramble to help family members and his constituents evacuate their homes — as the volcano started spewing lava and ash.

“There was no warning when it erupted. People were shocked and were not prepared.”

Rocafort set out to help her hometown by coordinating with several Fil-Am organizations in Pensacola to raise funds for the victims.

“With the help of local communities here, we’re planning to collect money so we can help fellow Filipinos who have been impacted by Taal volcano.”

Meanwhile, Pastor Charles White, founder of kicking for christ martial arts ministries, said he is in close coordination with his staff in Manila and Batangas to provide the needs of about 2,000 students who were affected by the volcanic eruption.

He has collaborated with other organizations in the U.S. with the goal of sending money soon to the victims.

“We are working with Project Robinhood, Operation Blessing…then we are working with smaller organizations that serve other areas in the Philippines. We are trying to move funds from smaller organizations that are set up to take care of small group/small villages and mobilize them to larger areas.” 

His church, Fil-Am baptist church in Pensacola is also encouraging its members to make a donation — while never forgetting to pray for the victims that they not only survive Taal volcano’s wrath, but are also able to rebuild from this tragedy.

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