When Lyna and Marites Bonifacio, sisters who work at a Langford Subway, heard about the typhoon in the Philippines, their thoughts turned to family.
The women felt helpless when they learned their mother’s home, in a remote village, had been destroyed.
“There’s only floor left,” Lyna said. “They have to start over again.”
Typhoon Haiyan, the strongest storm ever recorded at landfall, slammed into the Philippines in early November, destroying cities and towns and killing more than 6,000 people. Since then there has been much international response and help as the affected areas rebuild.
In an effort to help from afar, the sisters put a jar on the counter at work asking customers to donate what they could to help.
The customers came through and raised $300, which the sisters sent back to their family in the Philippines.
“They were surprised, they were happy,” Lyna said.
The money they raised was intended for their family, who had other ideas. With the help of a third sister who still lives in the Philippines the money was used to buy enough food to put together care packages for upwards of 60 families in their parents’ remote village.
The care packages included rice, sardines and noodles.
“Even though we are victims of the super typhoon, they have the heart to share,” Marites said.
“I’m really amazed,” said Spencer Road Subway owner Vahid Manshadi. “Normally, if you received the money, or I received the money, we’d help ourselves. But they didn’t do that. They reached everybody, which is really amazing.”
While the sisters wish they could be with their family during this hard time, they also believe they have been able to do more good from Canada.
“I’m glad I’m here, to help them,” Lyna said.
Their ultimate plan is to help their mother immigrate to Canada.
The sisters’ greatest wish is to thank the people who came in and donated money to the cause.