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(Thursday, October 1, 2009) – Mayor Mufi Hannemann today urged City employees and the public to donate to relief funds organized by the Filipino Community Center and the American Red Cross of Hawaii for recovery efforts following the typhoon and tsunami disasters in the Philippines, Samoa and American Samoa.


“I’ve been overwhelmed and touched by the tremendous outpouring of concern by the people of Hawaii for the typhoon and tsunami victims in the Philippines and the Samoas,” Hannemann said. “We all have friends and neighbors from these island communities, and many of us also have relatives who reside in them. So many people want to know how they can help the relief efforts and send aid to their Pacific neighbors as they struggle to recover from these disasters.


“I am urging City employees and the people of Hawaii to show their concern and aloha for the victims of these disasters by donating to the American Red Cross and the Filipino Community Center relief funds. Our hearts go out to everyone who is suffering from nature’s fury, and we will pray for them as the relief efforts continue.”


Business and community leader Bennette Evangelista praised the integrated efforts of the Filipino Community Center.


“So many people in Hawaii have been affected by this tragedy, and this is really a time for us to extend our spirit of aloha and our sense of damayan (Tagalog for ‘empathy’),” she said. “Every little bit helps, and I commend the Filipino community in Hawaii for taking quick action and pulling together for such a very important cause, which truly shows the community’s solidarity.”


Samoan Max Sword commended the American Red Cross for its timely assistance. 


“Having family and friends in Pago and Apia, we sincerely appreciate the outpouring of sympathy from the people in Hawaii and around the world for the victims in American Samoa, Samoa, and the Philippines,” said Max Sword, Outrigger Hotels & Resorts Vice President, and Honolulu Police Commissioner.  “We encourage everyone to make a monetary or other donation to assist with the relief effort, and those who have fallen on hard financial times may offer a prayer.  Anything you can do will make a difference.”





Bill Brennan, 768-6928