Thursday, 21 October 2021

Filipino says thanks for donations of aid

A WOMAN whose family was caught up in Typhoon Haiyan has thanked people for their generosity in giving aid to

A WOMAN whose family was caught up in Typhoon Haiyan has thanked people for their generosity in giving aid to her homeland.

Zee Stanton, 29, has collected more than 90 boxes of donations at RAF Benson to send to Cebu, the capital of the Philippines.

Her grandmother, who is 85 and blind, and aunt had the roof torn off their home during the typhoon which hit the country on November 8, killing more than 4,000 people and leaving millions homeless.

Mrs Stanton, whose husband Andrew, 29, is a senior aircraftman at the base, said: “The houses there are made from wood, not brick.

“My grandmother and aunt were in the house but were then moved to a big school. The whole village was there. I have spoken to my sister who is in contact with them and she says that they are okay.

“I cry every night because I feel so powerless because I am here in this great place and the typhoon is there. We can’t do much but I want to help as much as I can.”

Her husband helped her carry out house-to-house collections around the base together with their two-year-old daughter Kate.

Mr Stanton said: “The response we had was overwhelming and has spread beyond the confines of the base.

“People who have never seen the base have made a donation and then struggled to find their way out of the gate. We thought we would just fill up the car but we filled one car three times and another twice. Zee has been choked up about it for most nights.”

The most common items donated were children’s clothes, toys, games and toiletries. They have been put into large boxes which have been stacked in an aircraft hangar to be shipped the Philippines. The aid will then be distributed by the Red Cross.

Mrs Stanton said: “We just want to say thank you.”

Meanwhile, the organiser of a night of entertainment at a Henley café says the response from residents has been overwhelming since it was reported in last week’s Henley Standard.

Vivienne Connery, owner of the Chocolate Café in Thames Side, is stageing the quiz event with radio presenter Mike Read to show support for her Filipino waitress Maria Fe Paña.

She said: “By the end of Saturday I had sold 65 of the 96 tickets. I have had people come in who had never been to the café just to buy tickets. I have also had £250 in donations from people who couldn’t come. Now I have only 15 tickets left.”

Mrs Connery said she had also been offered raffle prizes, including a trip on a boat provided by Hobbs of Henley.

Mrs Fe Paña, 39, who moved to Britain three years ago, leaving behind her husband and eight-year-old daughter, says she had been touched by the support.

She said: “It has been an amazing response. One customer came in and gave me £50. I would like to express my thanks to everyone.”

Another fund-raiser will be held at 2 Bell Lane, Henley, on December 7 from 5pm to 8pm. There will be mulled wine, mince pies and spring rolls on offer. The cost is £10 per head.

All the money raised will be sent to families in the village of Aranjuez which was hit by the typhoon.

To make a donation to the DEC Philippines Typhoon Appeal visit, call the 24-hour hotline on 0370 60 60 900, donate over the counter at any high street bank or post office, or send a cheque.

You can also donate £5 by texting the word SUPPORT to 70000.

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