East Hawaii News

Banks Accepting Philippines Relief; Foundation Matching Donations

November 18, 2013, 5:15 PM HST
* Updated November 18, 5:16 PM
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The 11 member banks of the Hawaii Bankers Association are teaming up to accept donations for victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

As part of the “Aloha for Phillipines” relief effort, beginning today the banks will collect donations on behalf of two organizations, the FilCom Center and the American Red Cross.

FilCom, also known as the Filipino Community Center, is partnering on the effort with the Consuelo Foundation, which will match each dollar given to the FilCom Center up to a total of $2 million.

Participating banks are American Savings Bank, Bank of Hawaii, Bank of the Orient, Central Pacific Bank, Finance Factors, First Hawaiian Bank, Hawaii National Bank, HomeStreet Bank, Ohana Pacific Bank, Pacific Rim Bank and Territorial Savings Bank.

Check donations can be made payable to “Filipino Community Center – Aloha for Philippines” or “American Red Cross – Aloha for Philippines.”

The banks collected more than $3 million for disaster victims during a similar coordinated effort during the 2011 Aloha for Japan campaign, said a spokesman for Aloha for Philippines.

“We are pleased to do our part by accepting donations from our generous and caring community members, and forwarding those donations to organizations that can provide direct assistance,” said Edward Pei, executive director of the Hawaii Bankers Association.

The FilCom Center has become accustomed to raising money for disaster victims because of other natural calamities that have struck the island nation in recent years, the spokesman said.

“While we are deeply saddened by yet another devastating storm, we are thankful for the leadership of Hawaii’s banks and the opportunity to partner with the Consuelo Foundation, who will accept donations from FilCom and match each dollar,” says Edmund Aczon, FilCom’s board chairman.

The Consuelo Foundation is currently responding to immediate recovery needs in the affected areas of the Visayas through their partners and affiliates, the spokesman said, adding that its long-term strategy is to work to rebuild communities in ways that create safe and healthy environments for children and families.

“We are using donations to partner with trusted Philippine-based organizations to devise comprehensive approaches that include the restoration of housing, livelihoods, psychosocial and physical health, and the promotion of child and family welfare and safety,” said Consuelo Foundation President & CEO Jon Matsuoka.

On a related note, the Island Insurance Foundation has donated $25,000 to the FilCom Center for the relief effort.

“Our hearts go out to the staggering number of people affected by this devastating natural disaster,” said Tyler Tokioka, president of the Island Insurance Foundation.  “We have so many employees and local families with friends, relatives and loved ones in the Philippines, that supporting this relief effort was a priority for our organization.”

The Island Insurance Foundation is the charitable arm of the Island Insurance company.

Meanwhile, the Humane Society International has a veterinary team on the islands of Leyte and Bantayan providing mobile veterinary services and other animal-related response efforts, including cat and dog food.

“Our team is determined to provide aid to companion animals in need — a crucial component of humanitarian efforts in a disaster,” HSI said in a statement.

Donations to that effort can be made here.

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