Many Bay Area residents with friends and family in the Philippines are stepping up to help the island nation recover from Typhoon Haiyan. NBC Bay Area’s Kimberly Tere reports from the Red Cross offices in San Jose with more on the effort.
A huge effort is underway in the Bay Area to help with recovery efforts in the Philippines, a country battered by a fearsome typhoon.
Officials are calling it the worst disaster ever seen in the Philippines.
Robert Romulo, a former Philippines secretary of state, is in the United States for a health forum. But his mind is on what is happening in his country.
"Their immediate need is obviously food and water," Romulo said. "Immediately after that, all of the homes which are very substandard to begin with, we need to help them reconstruct it."
The drive to raise funds to help victims of the typhoon is already underway.
The National Alliance for Filipino Concerns, or NAFCON, has an ongoing campaign to help victims of natural disasters in the Philippines.
The world disaster report ranks the Philippines as the third-most disaster prone country in the world. The typhoon comes less than two months after a 7.1 magnitude earthquake hit the same area.
"Filipino people are very resilient and we have at least 20 typhoons visiting the country every year, and every time they will be able to rise up to the occasion," said Jaime Ramon Ascalon, Philippines deputy consul general.
The Bay Area is home to one of the largest Filipino communities outside of the islands. On Saturday, dozens of people gathered at a church on the Peninusla to pray for the victims.
Ninety-nine percent of St. Andrews Church's parishioners are Filipino-American, and many have relatives who live on the islands, some right in the typhoon's path.
One parishioner said she has already sent money to her family in the Philippines, asking them to take it directly to the churches in the area. She said she hopes to give the victims there a place to worship at such a difficult time.
The American Red Cross is working closely with their counterparts in the Philippines, making sure they are getting the resources and support they need to help victims.
Those interested in making a donation to help recovery efforts in the Philippines can visit the following websites: