Photos emailed from the Philippines show the devastation wrought by Typhoon Haiyan on the town of Bogo.

Fundraising efforts for Philippine relief gear up in Cranbrook, Kimberley

A&W restaurants in Cranbrook, Kimberley and Invermere holding special day Friday, Nov. 22.

The devastation wrought on the Philippines by Typhoon Haiyan has moved a lot of people in the East Kootenay with the desire to help out.

A&W restaurants in Cranbrook, Kimberley and Invermere, in conjunction with the Filipino-Canadian Assocation of the East Kootenay, is setting aside a day this week so people can make donations for relief of the people affected.

Bob Cartier, owner of the Cranbrook and Kimberley A&Ws, says that on Friday, Nov. 22, for every breakfast sandwich sold, one dollar will be donated to typhoon relief. Later in the day, two dollars from the sale of every Teenburger will go to help out.

“When you see the devastation that’s happened, it’s just heartbreaking,” Cartier said. “I got thinking that I had to do something, but wasn’t sure how.”

The fact that local people wanted to help was readily apparent. Cartier said A&W put out collection jars, and raised $500 in a few days. And the Cranbrook Colonels hockey club presented him with a $1,000-check on Thursday night.

“I just took the coffee around,” Cartier said on Friday morning, “and somebody gave me $20.”

Cartier said  Filipino-Canadians are becoming a big part of the communities in the area.  He added that he wants to challenge other local businesses to help out.

Many people here have friends and family in the Philippines who were caught in the typhoon’s havoc.

“We’re just trying to find a way to make it easy for people to help,” he said. “You never know when the tables will turn. Look at Calgary and High River (hard hit by flooding earlier this year).

“Sometimes, I think we take things for granted a little bit too much.”

Friday will be a fun day at the A&W, Cartier said, with colourful activities going on.

Loudres Roxas-Butalid, President of the Filipino-Canadian Association of the East Kootenay, said donations are going through ANCOP International Canada, which is the official organization through which every dollar given will be matched by the federal government. Donations of $20 or more will receive a tax receipt. Donors can send cheques directly to:

ANCOP International Canada, Inc. C/O Lourdes Roxas- Butalid, 2620 3A Street South, Cranbrook, BC, V1C 5B1.

Donors should include the following information: address, postal code and phone number.

A little donation can go a long way in the Philippines. Roxas-Butalid, whose own hometown of Bogo in the province of Cebu was wiped out, said $300 will fix the roof of a house there, $500 will fix roof and walls, and $3,000 is enough to build a small two bedroom house.

More information on local fundraising efforts for Philippine relief can call Roxas-Butalid at 250-581-0126.

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