Local organizations help with relief effort in Philippines

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SAN DIEGO — As donations begin to come in for survivors of Typhoon Haiyan, San Diego-area organizations continue their efforts to aid the Philippines.

La Jolla resident Derick Aguinaldo is helping with relief efforts by raising money through Gawad Kalinga USA, a Filipino organization in Poway.

“If you live in San Diego, you know someone who’s Filipino,” said Aguinaldo. “We always refer to each other as family.  I can’t help but feel the pain they’re feeling right now.”

Help UsTwo weeks ago, Aguinaldo returned from a trip to the Philippines where he was visiting relatives in an area hit first by the storm.

“I probably have about a hundred first cousins there and there’s just absolutely no communication with that town,” Aguinaldo said.

Aguinaldo said donations are being used to buy supplies already on the islands to quickly get food packs to survivors.

San Diego-based International Relief Teams is doing the same.

“This is the acute stage of the disaster.  We’re literally trying to save as many lives as possible.  You’ve got to provide them with food and water – or else the death toll is going to rise,” said IRT Executive Director Barry La Forgia.