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FASO leads typhoon relief effort

Catherine Owers | Monday, November 18, 2013

Despite the miles that separate Notre Dame from the Philippines – the site of the devastating Typhoon Haiyan that hit in early November – relief efforts are underway on campus to bring help to the region.

Danica Lapid, copresident of the Filipino-American Student Organization (FASO), said FASO worked with the Asian American Association (AAA) to raise money to aid in the relief and the groups have already raised approximately $1,000.

Lapid said she is inspired by the Notre Dame community’s willingness to help with the relief effort.

“I didn’t expect everyone to be so excited and supportive,” she said. “It’s good to know that we can be the way that people can help.”

To begin its efforts, the group held a banner signing in South Dining Hall last Wednesday, Lapid said. She said the event helped to raise awareness about the future events.

“[FASO] could put on these events, but no one knows that they are happening. If you get people at the dining hall and give them flyers, then maybe they’ll stop by – and that’s really all we ask,” she said. “We made 40 bucks just sitting in the dining hall, not even asking people for donations.”

Lapid said the club held a bagel sale in the LaFortune Student Center lobby Thursday morning that proved successful.

“It went really, really well. To make $600 off of bagels is just crazy,” she said. “We asked for $2, but people were throwing down 20s.”

FASO and AAA hosted a fundraiser Sunday at Five Guys followed by a rosary service at the Grotto in the evening, Lapid said.

“I spoke to Hall Presidents’ Council and asked them to promote the events in their dorms,” she said. “I also know Dillon Hall is selling their old apparel for $5 each and they are donating the profits to us. Slowly and slowly, it’s been adding up.”

Lapid said Typhoon Haiyan was one of the most deadly and powerful storms in history.

“I heard that if you took the size of [the] typhoon and put it over the [United States], it would stretch from Florida to New England,” she said.  

All the profits from the events are sent to the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON), Lapid said, which sends the money directly to a grassroots organization that is already established in the Philippines.

“We just didn’t want [the money] to go to the wrong places,” she said. “It’s better to go with a smaller and more direct organization.”

Lapid said she is concerned about long-term support for the devastated areas of the Philippines.”The hard part of doing all this aid stuff is that people frontload the relief effort,” she said. “The problem, I think, is further down the road, like three months from now, there won’t be as much money or attention.”

The next fundraiser will be held over BYU weekend, Lapid said. She said FASO’s March cultural show will also donate their proceeds to the relief effort.
“It’s our 20th annual show, and we’re trying to bring back a ton of alumni,” she said. 

Contact Catherine Owers at cowers@nd.edu