Locals raising funds to help families

Greater Trail community responds to disaster in Philippines

The last trip Alicia De Grandis made to her birth city of Tabuelan, Philippines was almost one year ago, and at that time, the land was dusty and the climate, dry.

“This is in the northern part where people farm the land,” said De Grandis.

“There isn’t too much rain and the farmers depend on the weather to grow their food.”

Fast forward to Nov. 8 when one of the deadliest storms to hit the Philippines landed on the island country leaving devastation and death in its wake.

According to the latest reports, the Philippine government estimates that nationwide, the death toll from Typhoon Haiyan stands at 3,982 with 1,602 still missing and more than 200,000 homes destroyed, with over one million people displaced.

“All their crops have been washed away and they won’t be able to grow food for another year or two,” she said.

De Grandis has siblings and their children who farm the hard-hit northern land in the province of Cebu and many relatives living in an area of Cebu City that was less ravaged by the typhoon’s fierce winds.

“Half of my family lives on the farm and everything was destroyed,”she said. “It is a remote area and because there is no electricity I haven’t been able to contact them.”

De Grandis is helping raise money for the West Kootenay Filipino Canadian Society and will be on hand during the Dec. 1 community fundraiser at the Genelle hall, with all proceeds being sent directly to those affected.

“People are starving and kids are standing by the side of the road waiting for help,” she said. “And food is being hijacked because they are starving and just trying to survive. We need to help right now.”

She explained that the farming towns near her native Tabuelan are in a distal mountainous region, and Canadian Red Cross helicopters are unable to land, meaning food, water and medical aide isn’t reaching the village’s survivors.

“The situation is critical and we are going to help because we have people there that we know,” said De Grandis.  “They can carry the food and water into the village because a helicopter can’t land. That is how we can get what they need distributed. You need to know somebody there.”

People in the area and many business have responded to a previous Trail Times story, “Greater Trail’s Filipino community plans fundraising for typhoon survivors”(Nov. 13), which has Siony Campbell feeling more hope.

Thompson is organizing the Society’s fundraiser and has relatives in the south eastern coastal region affected by the tropical storm.

“I couldn’t believe it, right away I had a $100 donation from person in Trail,” she explained. “She is wheelchair bound and couldn’t get to my home so I went and picked it up,” said Thompson. “It was wonderful and we’ve a few more calls since then.”

To donate to the Filipino Society, or for information, call Thompson at 250-693-5476.

Alicia De Grandis has lived in Trail for 26 years but her life in the Philippines is never far from her heart, especially when tending to her garden and greenhouse, along with husband Angelo, in the backyard of her West Trail home.

And she has never forgotten that surviving hardship isn’t just about the family getting by, it’s about the wellbeing of the community as a whole.

“We cannot wait for agencies to get there to help, because the people will die waiting,” said De Grandis. “Because it’s not just about helping my family. They are all homeless and if you give to your family then you have to give to help someone else’s family too. That is what we do.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
81 new cases of COVID-19 detected in Interior Health Friday

One additional staff member at Kelowna long-term care home tests positive, no new deaths

Interior Health says Salmo’s COVID-19 cases have been contained. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Interior Health: Salmo’s COVID-19 cases are contained

Every person who tested positive has recovered

Vases of red roses will be placed in remembrance at several locations in Trail on Monday. Photo: Jamie Street
Trail bridge goes red on Sunday to honour national remembrance

Every night in Canada over 3,400 women and their children are in shelters trying to escape violence

Masks are mandatory indoors in all B.C. businesses. Photo: Black Press file
Think about the common good: wear a mask

Opinion by Trail Times columnist Louise McEwan

The Village of Salmo has told Cody Puckett and Ashley Nelson that clearing land at this property doesn’t constitute building a property according to a bylaw. Photo: Submitted
Work in progress? Salmo family, village at odds over property construction

Cody Puckett says he’s being evicted from his own land, which the village disputes

Pickleball game in Vancouver on Sunday, November 8, 2020. B.C.’s public health restrictions for COVID-19 have been extended to adult team sports, indoors and outside. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
711 more COVID-19 cases detected in B.C. Friday

‘Virus is not letting up and neither can we’

Demonstrators, organized by the Public Fishery Alliance, outside the downtown Vancouver offices of Fisheries and Oceans Canada July 6 demand the marking of all hatchery chinook to allow for a sustainable public fishery while wild stocks recover. (Public Fishery Alliance Facebook photo)
Angry B.C. anglers see petition tabled in House of Commons

Salmon fishers demand better access to the healthy stocks in the public fishery

(Hotel Zed/Flytographer)
B.C. hotel grants couple 18 years of free stays after making baby on Valentines Day

Hotel Zed has announced a Kelowna couple has received free Valentines Day stays for next 18 years

Farmers raise slogans during a protest on a highway at the Delhi-Haryana state border, India, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rejected the diplomatic scolding Canada’s envoy to India received on Friday for his recent comments in support of protesting Indian farmers. Tens of thousands of farmers have descended upon the borders of New Delhi to protest new farming laws that they say will open them to corporate exploitation. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Manish Swarup
Trudeau brushes off India’s criticism for standing with farmers in anti-Modi protests

The High Commission of India in Ottawa had no comment when contacted Friday

Nurse Kath Olmstead prepares a shot as the world’s biggest study of a possible COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., gets underway Monday, July 27, 2020, in Binghamton, N.Y. U.S. biotech firm Moderna says its vaccine is showing signs of producing lasting immunity to COVID-19, and that it will have as many as many as 125 million doses available by the end of March. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Hans Pennink
Canada orders more COVID vaccines, refines advice on first doses as cases reach 400K

Canada recorded its 300,000th case of COVID-19 on Nov. 16

Apartments are seen lit up in downtown Vancouver as people are encouraged to stay home during the global COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. British Columbia’s deputy provincial health officer says provincewide data show the most important area B.C. must tackle in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic is health inequity. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
Age, income among top factors affecting well-being during pandemic, B.C. survey shows

Among respondents earning $20,000 a year or less, more than 41 per cent reported concern about food insecurity

Victoria-based driving instructors are concerned for their own and the community’s safety with the continued number of residents from COVID hotspots in the Lower Mainland coming to the city to take their driving road tests. (Black Press Media file photo)
Students from COVID hotspots travel to Vancouver Island for driving tests

Union leader calls on government to institute stronger travel ban

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix wears a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19, during an announcement about a new regional cancer centre, in Surrey, B.C., on Thursday, August 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
PHSA bought faulty respirators; spent money on catering, renovations: Dix

Such spending included ‘unnecessary, unbudgeted renovations’ to the authority’s headquarters in Vancouver

B.C. NDP leader John Horgan releases his election platform, Vancouver, Oct. 6, 2020, featuring COVID-19 relief payments promised for most households. (B.C. NDP photo)
Next $1.5 billion in B.C. COVID-19 cash ‘prudent,’ Horgan says

New round of payments for household incomes up to $175,000

Most Read