“Hindi ka nag-iisa.”
It means “You are not alone” in Filipino and it’s the exact message some North Fork residents are trying to send to the victims of last month’s typhoon that devastated the island country.
Anthony Peluso of Greenport and his wife, Willi, helped organize a fundraiser this weekend to raise money for three charities trying to aid victims of the cyclone that has killed more than 5,600 people and is among the strongest storms in recorded history.
“We wanted to help,” Mr. Peluso said. “We were concerned.”
Ms. Peluso hails from the Philippines. Her family was safe outside Manila, just north of the worst of the storm when it hit on Nov. 7.
“We were able to get a clear telephone message to her family there and they confirmed to us that they were okay,” Mr. Peluso said.
Over 5,600 people were confirmed killed by the typhoon’s storm surge and intense winds, making it the deadliest storm in Philippine history. More than 1,750 people are still missing.
Mr. Peluso said the fundraiser — also organized by Susi Young, Donya Van Buren, Anne Howard, and Mort Cogen — will be held at the First Universalist Church in Southold Saturday from 3 to 5 p.m. The event will feature decorations representing Filipino culture, such as flags and pictures from the country, as well as ethnic dishes such as lumpia, which are similar to egg rolls, fresh shrimp called camarones and pansit, a rice and noodle dish.
“We’re trying to offer people some finger food, to give them a taste of the Philippines,” Mr. Peluso said.
Attendees can donate to three charities at the event: the UN-sponsored World Food Program, the Oxfam Typhoon Haiyan relief fund and Doctors Without Borders.
Mr. Peluso said the charities are well respected for their work abroad, noting that some donations — such as $500 from a library upstate — have already begun pouring in.
Donations can also be made online at the charities’ websites or by check to Dr. Anthony Peluso, c/o First Universalist Church, PO Box 221, Southold, NY 11971. All checks will be forwarded to the charity of the donor’s choice.