Filipino-Americans in Maryland have begun to mobilize local efforts to assist the estimated 200,000 people displaced last month by the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines.
Sony Florendo, a Baltimore restaurateur and vice president of the Philippine-American Foundation, says she and a committee of Filipino civic organizations are asking for donations of food, clothing, cooking utensils and small toys to help families living in relocation camps.
"Even if they had money, there is nothing to buy," Florendo said of her displaced countrymen. "The livestock and plants have been killed. The rivers and waters where they get fish and shrimp are all gone."
"What we really need now are food items and clothing," she said, specifically ready-to-eat canned and dried foods. The group also is asking for summer-weight adult and children's clothing, small children's toys and books, light blankets and metal cooking utensils.
The items will be accepted next week at Florendo's Lodge Cliff banquet facility, 7718 Belair Road in Baltimore County. Clothing should be neatly folded and placed in boxes or plastic bags to conserve space in the cargo container to be shipped to the Philippines.
The site is to be manned July 12 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and July and 14 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. by volunteers from the Filipino Physicians Medical Society, the Foundation for Aid to the Philippines, the Knights of Columbus, and Katipunan, the Filipino-American Association of Maryland.
Cash donations also are being solicited to help rebuild the economy of volcano-damaged regions after the immediate needs of evacuees are met. Homes and buildings have been crushed by ash, and cropland in the nation's "rice bowl" have been buried in ash.
Tax-deductible donations made out to the Foundation for Aid to the Philippines, or the Filipino-American Foundation may be mailed in care of Lodge Cliff Inc., 7718 Belair Road, Baltimore Md. 21236.
For more information call Dr. Ray Magno at 821-1550 .