Crippling storm brings outpouring of generosity


In the days following Typhoon Haiyan, Genevieve Castillo’s colleagues expressed concern for her family in the Philippines. The powerful tropical storm tore through the country earlier this month, killing nearly 4,000 people and leaving another 1,600 missing in its aftermath. Authorities fear that when they are able to fully assess the damage, up to 10,000 will be dead.

Ms. Castillo, the director of nursing at the Methodist Home for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Riverdale, where she has worked for the last 17 years, said she was fortunate — her family is safe.

But with more than a dozen additional Methodist Home employees with roots in the Philippines, including one with family in the city of Tacloban — the place hardest hit by the typhoon — the other staff members suggested starting a drive to collect donations to relieve victims of the storm.

“I was very moved,” Ms. Castillo said of her colleagues’ actions.  “They’re not from my country, but they feel the need to do something to help.”

As a result, the Methodist Home is collecting canned food, socks, bed sheets, summer clothing and financial contributions to send to survivors of Typhoon Haiyan.  

The first donation arrived at the Methodist Home shortly after 12 p.m. on Nov. 14.

Nancy Doris, a retired social worker from Riverdale, hauled three large plastic bags filled with clothes from her vehicle to the lobby of the Methodist Home.

“I always look to give back,” said Ms. Dorris, who said her act of charity gave her the opportunity to remove clothes cluttering her closets. “In this case, how can you not? I can’t imagine how those people feel.”

Ms. Castillo said area residents have displayed their compassion for Filipinos affected by the typhoon. “People are trying to do whatever they can to help,” she said.  “It’s really been amazing.” 

The Methodist Home is partnering with Aprayer4Alex Foundation, a humanitarian organization founded by a Filipino family and based in Yonkers.

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