Illinois Filipinos focus fundraiser on rebuilding 'Yolanda'-hit areas

By Don Tagala, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

Dec. 26, 2013

MOUNT PROSPECT, IL – Hosted by the Village of Mount Prospect in Ill., “United for Hope” is yet another fundraiser for the Typhoon Yolanda victims. But organizers say this time, the money raised will be used to rebuild the some of the affected areas in the Visayas through Gawad Kalinga.

“United for Hope” raised more than $10,000.

“I think the reality for us is there is a first response with relief efforts but now we need to rebuild, and this is where we need to focus on and not forget those who still need help,” organizer Chef Rod Aglibot of E+O Restaurant said.

“We now need to rebuild and Gawad Kalinga has a great platform in doing that,” organizer and E+O Restaurant co-owner Aeron Lancero said. “All proceeds tonight from the door, which is $25, all beverage revenue that’s earned here, silent auction, 100% of all those go to Gawad Kalinga that provides relief efforts for the Philippines.”

Since 2003, Gawad Kalinga has been at the frontlines of disaster relief and rebuilding.

GK-USA’s Glenda Genio said aside from rebuilding about 1,000 GK homes damaged during the super typhoon, GK aims to build some 20,000 new homes in the affected areas.

Each home costs about $3,300 to build.

Genio said money raised in fundraisers like this one can build not just homes but productive communities in the affected areas.

“For those who are thinking of building villages of at least 20 homes, it’s $75K to build that village,” Genio, executive director of GF-USA, said. “We are also delving into livelihood programs. For $550 you can buy, you can actually help fund a purchase of a brand new boat for fishing villages.”

As the Philippines recovers from Typhoon Yolanda’s devastation, Philippine Consul General Leo Herrera Lim in Chicago said that he won’t be surprised to see more fundraisers to help the country’s recovery efforts.

But at the same time, Lim advises kababayans to remain vigilant and ask these important questions to the people or organizations asking for money or donations before doing so.

“Tatlo lang ang kailangan nating tanungin sa nagpa-fundraiser,” Lim said. “Sino namumuno? May integridad ba yung namumuno, para malaman natin. Pangalawa, kanino dadalhin yung tulong na nililikom nila? Kailangan ang pagdadalhan? Medyo napagkakatiwaalan natin so pag hindi nasasagut yan sa atin magdududa na tayo.”

Lim said while he commends the Pinoy Chicagoans’ “Bayanihan Spirit,” he says it is also important to make sure that their relief and recovery efforts really make it to the people who needs them most – the Super Typhoon Yolanda survivors.

You may contact Don Tagala at for more information.

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    29 December 2013 at 8:11 am - Reply

    Nice to see what the Pinoy Chicagoan’s doing, good job ! The Typhoon Yolanda survivors will not forget you all. Thank You To All Of You . . . .