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Local Philippine Relief Effort
Updated: Thursday, November 21 2013, 11:01 PM EST
AMELIA, Ohio (Rich Jaffe) -- The president of the Philippines says his country is in a state of, "National calamity," after typhoon Haiyan.
The massive tragedy continues to hit home with thousands of Filipino residents here in the tri-state as they try to figure out how to help their devastated families in the islands.
Local 12's Rich Jaffe found a heartfelt relief effort that is already underway.
Susan Krimmer is heading to what's left of her home town, Tacloban. She went four days without any word from her family after the storm and then she got a Facebook message from a nephew.
She told Local 12, "They don't have anything. There's no electricity there, their house is gone...the only thing they were able to save is what they were wearing."
Some of Susan's family members are still missing including a brother. She's going back to spearhead a relief effort from the Cincinnati Filipino community.
A benefit for survivors of typhoon Haiyan will be held the afternoon of December 15th at the Cincinnati Netherland plaza.
Jess McCleary's family lives in Cebu city, 98 miles away from Tacloban. They lost the roof on their tiny home,but consider themselves lucky compared to some survival stories.
Jess says, "People are walking two days just to get where the food sources is. They're stepping dead bodies, cause like I said they're desperate."
The need in the Philippines right now is tremendous but the beauty of this situation is that need can be satisfied in tiny increments in this country right now. For example you're looking at enough food right here to feed a Philippine family of five for two whole days, and all of this costs just ten dollars.
Jess' husband David says, "When you marry a Filipino, you marry a family. It's just a thing that people say...but I kind of ended up marrying a country."
Everyone in the McCleary household is involved in trying to help others a world away.
David told Local 12 News, "That little squatter community my in-laws live in...that's the happiest place I've ever been to in my life."
Headed for a tough reunion Susan says, "The reason I want to go home, I want to hug my family. Don't even know if I can bring anything there I just hug them. Thank them that they did their best to survive."
Donations for the Philippine relief fund can be given to any PNC bank in the area.
The benefit again is set for December 15th, from 4-7pm at the Netherland plaza. Tickets are ten dollars and that includes dinner.
For more information you can also go HERE.