Locals collecting for relief fund

LIHUE — Local Filipino groups are applauding AARP for its super typhoon relief matching program but say they are still maintaining individual efforts.

Leaders of statewide Filipino organizations joined AARP National President Rob Romasco, and former Hawaii Gov. Ben Cayetano in Honolulu on Wednesday, where they announced the AARP Typhoon Haiyan Relief Fund.

AARP Foundation will match dollar-for-dollar contributions up to $500,000 – an opportunity for Hawaii residents to maximize donations to victims of the storm that devastated parts of the Philippines. Online donations can be made at www.aarp.org/disasterrelief.

In a press release, AARP Hawaii State Director Barbara Kim Stanton said that Hawaii residents want to respond to those in need. She said AARP Foundation is a trusted organization that can ensure that 100 percent of funds go directly to organizations helping the victims.

“This is a devastating time for many Filipinos, including thousands of Hawaii residents who anxiously await news from relatives at home,” Stanton said.

Virgie Cruzada, president of the Kauai Visayan Club, said Tuesday that all donations collected up to their Nov. 24 annual meeting and Thanksgiving event would be sent to the ABS-CBN America corporate office in California, which serves the entire country.

ABS-CBN Foundation is the nonprofit arm of the Filipino television channel.

The Department of Justice, the FBI, and the National Center for Disaster Fraud is reminding the public of the potential for disaster fraud in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan. Suspicious calls, emails and other contact should be reported to the 24-hour toll-free NCDF hotline at 866-720-5721 or disaster@leo.gov.

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