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JFK Hospital in Edison donates $10G for
Typhoon Haiyan relief

New Jersey's Filipino population is helping to mobilize relief for its homeland, but some here don't even know whether their loved ones survived.

From: Courier News,
by Sergio Bichao

November 12, 2013 from Courier News,
Written by Sergio Bichao @sbichao


New Jersey's Filipino population is helping to mobilize relief for its homeland, but some here don't even know whether their loved ones survived.

Mostiolo Garcia, a 63-year-old pathology assistant at JFK Medical Center in Edison, said Monday that he has no way of reaching his brother and 97-year-old mother, who live near the center of Tacloban, one of the cities hardest hit Friday by deadly Typhoon Haiyan.

"I would like to go home and help," said Garcia, who moved to the United States in 1992 and whose son also is in the Philippines, but far from the areas of calamity.

The hospital, which counts a large number of Filipinos on staff, said Monday it would donate $10,000 to the Philippine Red Cross.

At least 9.7 million people in the Philippines may have been affected by the disaster and the death toll may be as high as 10,000. At least 23,000 houses had been damaged or destroyed.

"It's devastating. I feel like I want to do something but I won't be able, so the contribution to the Philippine Red Cross is an opportunity for us to help out," said Bernadette Inocencio Klabonski, 38, a nurse at JFK who moved to the United States when she was 10.

Klabonski said she has relatives living on an island not affected by the typhoon. Co-workers with relatives there are reaching out via Facebook and the Internet because phone lines don't work, she said.

"Everybody is asking each other, 'How is your family?' " she said. "It's such a relief to hear when everybody they know is OK."

About 100,000 Filipinos live in New Jersey, with 16,000 in Jersey City, where donation boxes were set up on counters at many Filipino-run businesses.

Bea Sabino, a Philippine community organizer in Hudson County, says the focus is on collecting financial donations through the group the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns.

Although people have been dropping off food, clothing and other supplies at various locations, organizers say past experience has shown a lack of infrastructure and complex bureaucracy in the Philippines makes sending goods there quickly very difficult.


About JFK Medical Center

JFK Medical Center, part of JFK Health, is a 498-bed full-service, acute care hospital, and the adjacent JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute. Located in the heart of Edison, NJ, it has remained at the forefront of quality care in the region since its inception in 1967. Today, JFK accommodates more than 20,000 admissions, 3,000 births and 60,000 Emergency Room visits on a yearly basis. The Medical Center features a complete array of services, including general surgery, emergency medicine, mental health, orthopedics, maternity and pediatric care. It is home to two world renowned institutes: the JFK Neuroscience Institute and the JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute, as well as JFK Haven Hospice, JFK Imaging & Breast Center and the Center for Wound Healing. Learn more about JFK Medical Center at