Gympie’s typhoon helpers
MEMBERS of Gympie's Filipino community have launched two separate emergency aid programs to help victims of Typhoon Haiyan, the most intense storm of its kind ever to hit land.
Neerdie's Camela Farmer, who is seeking small cash donations, says her home town of Ormoc has been devastated and "99% of people have lost their homes."
And Cynthia Cash, of Bells Bridge is asking for donations of clothing, nappies, tents, tarpaulins, canned food and other survival items, to be shipped over to the disaster area later this month.
Ms Farmer says she is trying to get cash through to victims immediately, because while food is available, no-one can buy it.
"There are no ATMs working there at the moment," she said.
"But there is a shop we can send money to and the people will get the money that you send."
She asked people who can give even $2 or $5 to contact her on 5486 5510.
"Even $2 that gets through buys a meal of rice," she said yesterday.
Mrs Cash said she had arranged a drop-off point for survival items at Gympie's Multicultural Information Network Service in James Nash Arcade.
MINS co-ordinator Cynthia Lees-Smith said the organisation had extended its opening hours so that goods could be left between 9am and 4pm Monday to Friday, through to noon on November 22.
Mrs Cash said the main thing she needs now is a transport firm or even someone with a ute or a truck to volunteer to take the goods to drop-off points at Caboolture and Chermside.
"There is a Filipino group in Brisbane and they already have a (shipping) container.
"I just want goods," she said. "Money doesn't always get there."
Appeal supporter Lilia Andrews says her family's home in the town of Dulag is only 37km from the worst part of the disaster zone.
"I can't contact them," she said yesterday. "There is no power, and no signal for phones.
"I don't even know if my family has a home anymore."
Trinidad Bayne, from Biliran Island, says her family is also badly affected and people need shelter.
"There is no communication signal and it prevents me from making contact."
Ms Farmer says people are forced to live under tarps if they have any.
"There are five families living in a tiny community hall and many more living in an open roofed area, while others are left outside in the rain - and it never stops raining," she said.
Mrs Cash said the Brisbane community had contacted a shipping company which immediately offered its biggest container for nothing.