Typhoon Haiyan Tragedy Hits Close To Home Across Delmarva - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Typhoon Haiyan Tragedy Hits Close To Home Across Delmarva

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WMDT 47 NEWS – While the devastation left behind by Typhoon Haiyan is thousands of miles away, for some in Delmarva, it is hitting close to home.

James Diehl, a Sussex County resident, has a wife and two daughters spending time in the Philippines with his sick father-in-law. They were only 40 miles from where the typhoon hit the hardest.

"It was coming straight for them until the last three or four hours," says Diehl. "It was halfway through the next day or so before I heard from them, it was a long twelve hours waiting to hear."

This was not the first time the family experienced a natural disaster, after temporarily moving to the Philippines in July.

"They survived the earth quake a few weeks before that, so they've had a rough time over there the past few weeks," says Diehl.

Luckily, Diehl's family survived the storm as well. While they are a little shaken up, they only witnessed minor damage.

"Just some wind damage, a couple broken windows," says Diehl. "But, it's not even worth mentioning compared to some of the areas where the storm surge and the winds just destroyed everything in their path."

Now, Diehl is working with the Philippine American Association of Delaware to collect items in Sussex County. There will be a collection at the Sussex County Association of Realtors Office until the day before Thanksgiving. Then, Diehl will take the items up to the association to Wilmington, and they will be shipped to the Philippines the weekend after Thanksgiving.

"Other than perishable food items there's not really anything we're turning away," says Diehl. "These folks lost everything , there's people without homes and they don't have the insurance policies to rebuild those homes either. Any little thing we can do to help is good."

Parishes in the Dicocese of Wilmington  will also take up a special collection over the next few weeks. This includes St. Francis De Sales Parish in Salisbury, where the tragedy also hit close to home.

"We have a rather strong Filipino community that worships with us," says Father Chris LaBarge. "Our hearts and prayers are with them."

Father LaBarge says they will accept donations at church services through November 24th, and will also accept donations in the church office during the weekdays.

For more information on how to get items to the Philippine American Association of Delaware, you can drop off items at 23407 Park Avenue, Georgetown, Delaware, or call Jeff Diehl at 302-855-2300, extension 305, or 302-222-4390.

For more information on how to donate money through your local church, visit the Catholic Relief Services website.

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