Church raises thousands for typhoon relief

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Members of St Patrick’s Church have raised more than $12,000 for victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

About $12,540 was raised when Reverend Wayne Healey asked the church for contributions to the typhoon relief fund about two weeks ago.

The donations have been sent to Caritas, a Catholic charity in Wellington, to be donated to people in the Philippines, Rev Healey said.

The congregation had contributed several thousand to the donation and another person, who wished to remain anonymous, had matched what was raised to make the donation more than $12,000, Rev Healey said.

Filipinos still needed help, as there was “a lot of sadness” in the Philippines and people there were still suffering and grieving, he said.

“I just felt it was . . . something that was very much worthwhile.

“The spirit of hope they can see from other countries gives them that real glimmer of hope.

“No donation is too small and no donation is too big.”

He said it was important to “do what you can for your sisters and brothers”, regardless of any perceived differences, such as religious beliefs or anything else.

“We’re human beings,” he said.

Caritas communications and international advocacy co-ordinator Martin De Jong said the church’s donation was “fantastic”.

The charity had raised more than $1 million from throughout New Zealand for typhoon victims in the Philippines, he said.

Contributions from small towns like Oamaru ensured typhoon victims would get access to food, water, items for hygiene, emergency shelter and more, he said.

It cost $10 to purchase a water kit for a family, $18 to purchase an emergency shelter kit containing tarps and nails, $26 for houshold living supplies and $35 for basic hygiene kits, so the church’s donation would assist about 140 households, he said.

By DAVID DE LOREAN