Local Filipino community rallies to help victims of typhoon
Posted November 17, 2013
Angier, N.C. — Angela Cernusuk left the Philippines 27 years ago, and is now living the American dream in the Harnett County town of Angier.
"We feel so lucky here," she said Sunday. "We're in the land of opportunity. We have everything here."
She opened Bitter Mellon Asian Market nearly two years ago, but now she's using all her energy to support those suffering back in her homeland.
The number of victims in Typhoon Haiyan has continued to climb with the government now confirming that 3,900 people have died as a result of the storm.
Aid has been slow for survivors. Many have complained they haven't received help. Others have had to walk hours just to wait in line for food and other supplies.
"They need our help," Cernusuk said. "We have to help them as much as we can.
She and other members of the local Filipino community are taking action, collecting boxes and boxes of clothes, blankets, shoes and other items for victims.
They are also accepting financial donations and raising money by selling authentic Filipino food and desserts.
"They were in poverty before the typhoon hit, and they live in such abject poverty, and now this has just worsened things ten-fold," Cernusuk said.
That's why others say they could not just stand by and do nothing.
"I had to come to help," said Mary Ennis.
Cernusuk's mother and sister live in a part of the Philippines that suffered no damage, but she says she views anyone in the Philippines as part of her family.
She says she will keep the relief efforts going as long as necessary.
So far, she and volunteers have collected more than $5,000, and they are shipping donated goods to the Philippines Red Cross each Wednesday.
"This is the least we can do for them," she said.