Local members of the community are banding together to send aid to the victims of Typhoon Haiyan which hit the Philippines on Nov. 7.
Overwhelmed by the scale of devastation in her home country, Kristine Bugayong, chief executive officer of the Red Deer & District Community Foundation, has arranged a Filipino Cook Off potluck event at The Hub on Nov. 23 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. that will feature members of the community’s best Filipino dishes.
“Due to the magnitude of the situation we knew we needed to help in any way we could and Filipinos love to eat,” said Bugayong. “Just like the rest of the world we’re a community that loves to come together around food, so the potluck seemed perfect.”
With tickets available at the door, admission prices will be $12 per person over the age of 12, $6 for kids aged 6-12 and children under five are free.
All proceeds will be going to an organization in the Philippines, Sagip Migrante, to support the victims of Typhoon Haiyan.
She hopes the fundraiser will help to spread light on the severity of the typhoon while rallying funds and support for the victims.
Bugayong, who came to Canada from the Philippines in 2003, was immediately worried about her multiple family members still residing there upon hearing about the typhoon.
She explained that while her family was not living in the affected areas, she wasn’t able to get through to her father until two days after Haiyan hit, and due to the Internet being knocked out she wasn’t able to hear how her cousin was doing until a few days after.
“The impact is so swift and so huge and it’s hard even for myself. Now I don’t even think it’s necessary for me to celebrate Christmas when on day seven after the typhoon people in my home country still don’t have clean water,” said Bugayong, adding that although her country is used to natural disasters, it is very hard to comprehend the size and intensity of Haiyan.
“You can just see the strength of those people who survived the storm but now they have to deal with the massive amount of devastation from the aftermath.”
Meanwhile, on Nov. 24 there will also be a benefit concert to help the Philippines, with three musical groups, as well as a silent auction, with all of the proceeds going to Philippine relief.
The concert will be held at the First Church of the Nazarene at 6 p.m.