A remote town in the Philippines devastated by Typhoon Haiyan will soon start to receive boxes of donated food, medical items and clothes from people in this area.
The collection and fundraising to pay for the cost of shipping has been spearheaded by Karen Asker, from Newstead Lane, in Belmesthorpe.
She sprang into action after learning that her mother Hilda’s carer Evelyn Antaran’s family in Kalibo, in the country’s Aklan province, were caught up in the chaos and were desperate for help.
Evelyn, who has worked as a carer in Stamford for more than five years and lives in the town, said she was deeply moved by the way residents in Stamford and nationwide had rallied to help people in the Philippines.
She said: “People in this country have big hearts when it comes to helping those who are in need.
“It’s been overwhelming.”
Even before the typhoon struck, Evelyn was in despair as friends and family were keeping her posted via Facebook about the warnings, the fear and the concerns.
“Then all of a sudden, there was nothing,” she said.
“For two days I didn’t know whether they were alive or dead.”
Two days later her mum Aurelia managed to ring on a mobile phone to say they were alive and, although windows had been blown out and some parts damaged, their home had not been totally destroyed.
Evelyn also learned that the town, which escaped the floods, had been hit by 170mph winds. Entire fields of crops were destroyed, fruit trees uprooted and thousands of homes razed to the ground.
With the aid focus on Tacloban, the area that bore the brunt of Haiyan, there was little help for Kalibo.
Evelyn said: “All the help was for Tacloban area and they (people of Kalibo) were forgotten.
“I felt helpless. I knew that I could probably do more for them by being here, but my heart was with my family.”
She now wants to do what she can to send food aid, which she says is what is most important.
Beauty therapist Karen and her partner John Goodliffe, a consulting structural engineer, who befriended Evelyn having seen the “101 per cent” commitment she gave to her job, have collected a sizeable amount of food, clothing and other essentials with help from the women at her Do Yoga class.
Within days they collected two car boot loads.
Yoga teacher Deborah King said: “People felt a personal connection and went out of their way to give very generously.”
Evelyn stressed that, with no work for people, and no crops to harvest, the desperate need for food will continue for months to come.
More than 5,000 people died when Typhoon Haiyan, the most powerful typhoon ever recorded, struck the islands. Hundreds of thousands were made homeless.
Karen said she will continue to collect food - tinned fish, meat, fruits and vegetables, rice, oats, noodles, energy biscuits - as well as washing powder, soap, water purifying tablets and simple medical items such as antiseptic creams, Lemsip and other cold and flu aids.
Money is also needed to pay for the cost of shipping the items which will go directly to Kalibo where Evelyn’s family will distribute them to the people in the town.
To donate call Karen on 07776 42134 or email email@example.com