Nov. 14, 2013

Alumni, students aid the Philippines

Update from CFA President Mark Macapagal ’14 (Updated Nov. 26, 2013)

CFA has been actively raising awareness and fundraising for Typhoon Haiyan relief efforts by coordinating with other organizations and events such as the Cornell MINDS Foundation, Slope Media Group and the Cornell Asian Pacific Islander Student Union, whose members have organized fundraisers and donated to typhoon relief through charities they've selected or through CFA's Oxfam America page.

On Nov. 22, "So You Think You Can Adobo?" featured a philanthropic cooking competition, Filipino festival and fundraiser. More than 85 attendees learned about Filipino culture, tasted variations on Chicken Adobo and donated to typhoon relief. The event raised $1,035, and along with online donations, bake sales and collaborations with other organizations, CFA and the Cornell community have raised at least $5,000 to aid typhoon victims.

Cornellians are collecting aid and planning fundraising and other efforts this week and next to benefit Filipinos affected by Typhoon Haiyan.

“Our hearts go out to our friends and colleagues as they reckon with their losses and recover from this catastrophe,” President David Skorton said in a Nov. 11 statement. “As citizens of the world, let us offer our hands, our hearts, and the goodwill of our institution to contribute to rebuilding in a meaningful way.”

The Cornell Club of the Philippines, which had been marking its 101st anniversary, repacked relief goods to aid victims Nov. 14. The club is Cornell’s oldest international alumni organization. Martin Romualdez ’85, the club’s president, is a congressman in the Philippines whose district includes the city of Tacloban in the province of Leyte – one of the areas hardest hit by the typhoon.

Cornell Club of the Philippines
Cornell Club of the Philippines
Members of the Cornell Club of the Philippines and their families repackage relief aid items at a Nov. 14 event to aid victims of Typhoon Haiyan.

In the first days after typhoon struck Nov. 8, Romualdez was quoted in regional media saying the storm had caused massive destruction, and he feared the worst once communication lines were re-established.

On campus, the Cornell Filipino Association (CFA) chose to direct collected funds to typhoon victim relief through Oxfam America; the group coordinated relief efforts this past week with the Filipino community in Ithaca and encouraged campus departments to collect donations at upcoming typhoon relief events.

Proceeds from the Nov. 15 Yoga for MINDS session will be directed to Oxfam America, and at the Nov. 17 Mass, the Cornell Catholic Community will take a second collection for Philippine victim relief via Catholic Charities. CFA will collect donations for Oxfam America’s relief efforts Nov. 15 at WongFu Productions’ event in Statler Auditorium and at the Cornell Vietnamese Association’s Pho Night Nov. 16.

Next week, CFA will collect donations across campus via tabling and bake sales and will organize and host a large philanthropic Adobo cooking competition, “So You Think You Can Adobo?” that celebrates the Philippines’ national dish, from 7-9 p.m. Nov. 22 in the Physical Sciences Building’s Clark Atrium. The $5 per person donation will go to Oxfam and disaster relief.

“Fortunately, we have only so far heard positive reports that our members’ families in the Philippines have been safe,” said CFA President Mark Macapagal ’14. He added that the group will continue to “reach out to our community to offer support during these sensitive times.”

For more information about ways to donate to Cornell’s relief efforts, visit the university’s Disaster Relief and Outreach blog.