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Caregivers in US reach out to families in typhoon zone

Posted November 11, 2013
Updated November 12, 2013

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— A professor at the Duke University School of Nursing worked her contacts in Durham Monday to help family members in the Philippines get money, food, water and medicine after a storm of enormous proportions smashed their homes over the weekend.

Cristina Hendrix is state chapter president of the Philippine Nurses Association. The group is mobilizing relief efforts nationwide. Like Hendrix, many of the nurses have family members who were affected. They're raising money to help send supplies to the stricken area, even as members await word from their loved ones.

Hendrix said her brother, sister-in-law and niece rode out the storm at the family home in Leyte, a mostly rural, very poor province that took a direct hit from Typhoon Haiyan Friday. Typhoon Haiyan: How to help

"They were all hunkered down in the house, and we didn't hear from my sister-in-law and her daughter, who were staying in the house, for about a day or so," Hendrix said. "Finally, mom was able to get in touch with them. They're fine, but there is lots of damage in the house."

They were among the lucky ones. 

Authorities said at least 2 million people in 41 provinces were affected by the typhoon. It's one of the most powerful recorded typhoons to ever hit land and likely the deadliest natural disaster to beset this poor Southeast Asian nation. As many as 10,000 people may have died.

Hendrix says Leyte is no stranger to big tropical storms, but this one was much stronger than anything they've seen. 

"The part of the Philippines that was hit is really, really poor," she said. Hendrix said her family considered evacuation, but had no where else to go. 

"They've weathered other storms in the past, so they thought they would be able to make it through," she said.

The Philippine Nurses Association is among aid organizations working to support those who survived the storm but still have a long rebuilding task ahead. Hendrix said they eventually hope to send a medical mission from the U.S. to the Philippines to aid their people.

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  • lets_b_real79 Nov 12, 2013

    Coach K is still GREAT -

    Because when we try to help people struggling in our country, they look at it as welfare and those people are too lazy and don't need our help. They should just get up and help themselves.

  • bcde Nov 12, 2013

    Many of the people in this country that feel they are 'victims' are in the situation they are in because of choices of their own making (for example: drugs, alcohol, early and unwed pregnancy,not getting an education, etc). I am not saying all the poverty in the US is due to this, but much is. Providing people with aid in the wake of a huge natural disaster is not the same.
    I am an American citizen that has lived in the Philippines, and once they are able to be 'back on their feet', they will be okay, and go about providing for themselves. Filipinos are much better than Americans at making do with what they have and doing so with a smile on their faces. People in poverty in the US would be richest in most 3rd world countries.

    We do need to count our blessing here, and if we are in the position to bless others we should do so!

  • Coach K is still GREAT Nov 12, 2013

    I guess what i'm saying is we need to be concerened with helping the people in our ouwn country first... we all are suffering here and instead of sending millions of dollars to another country, we should perhaps send the money to people here and help them/us first.... I have no problem with helping anyone, but think we should help AMERICANS first.

  • DavidJonathan Nov 12, 2013

    Filipinos ARE "our own people." Open a history book or look who your nurses and doctors are. Filipinos were marched off to Bataan alongside American soldiers. Without Filipinos helping, none of the doomed Americans imprisoned there would have been rescued. Many Filipinos and Fil-Ams have served in the US military.
    There are reputable organizations helping this time: Samaritan's Purse & Catholic Relief Services, etc, and I am glad to send them all the help I can.

  • Coach K is still GREAT Nov 11, 2013

    While I certainly feel bad for the people involved...

    I'm sure the government will step up and send millions in relief, but what bother's me is that millions in relief will never be sent to help people in our own country...

    We should be helping "our own" first...
    Why is it the US will be one of the first to provide "hand outs" to victims in other countries, but within our own country we battle (even myself providing for my own family) to survive everyday.. I just don't get it...

    Prayers for everyone involved...

  • Vote for Pedro Nov 11, 2013

    Admirable.