Community keeps giving generously to Philippines

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The Oamaru community has contributed about $10,000 to Typhoon Haiyan relief efforts through Oamaru’s Rotary Club so far.

Rotary Club of Oamaru president Robert Gonzales said the club’s appeal for donations to purchase $20 rebuild tool kits had seen about $7000 raised.

That money was on top of the $3000 the club raised for their initial relief fund appeal.

The $7000 would be enough to purchase between 300 and 350 rebuilding tool kits for families, he said.

Each tool kit contained a hammer, a saw, a crowbar and nails.

“There’s a lot of debris and just what’s left from the devastation that they could put together to rebuild, but they haven’t got any tools,” he said.

“There’s no insurance for the majority of the population, so what they’ve got is what they’ve got.”

Mr Gonzales said he was “grateful and overwhelmed” by the support of the community.

“It’s nice to know we’re able to help in that way to the people over there.”

Local schools, other rotary clubs, businesses and individuals had all contributed so far, he said.

Donations were still coming through, and Rotary intended to send more money over after Christmas, or early in the New Year, Mr Gonzales said.

There were still about 4000 families in about 30 different evacuation areas in the city of Tacloban, in the Philippines, needing help.

“$20 to enable a family to rebuild is a great idea and I appeal to people to consider that,” he said.

Donating $20 was a simple way someone could change several lives over Christmas and help plant the seed for the Philippines to recover, he said.

“For a family to be given that ability to put their shelter together, I see a lot of positives.”

It was about restoring people’s dignity and helping them take back control of their lives, he said.

Mr Gonzales said people could donate money to the Rotary Club’s bank account – ANZ Bank 06-0941-0175865-00.

They could also leave donations in the collection box at Oamaru Hospital, he sai

By DAVID DE LOREAN