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Hastings native organizes fundraiser for Philippines

Typhoon Haiyan, which struck the Philippine islands Nov. 8, hit close to home for Nena Peterson. The typhoon struck the island of Leyte hard, including the village of Jaro, about 30 miles west of the island’s capital. A significant number of the village’s population is part of Peterson’s extended family.

The typhoon destroyed the houses in the village, so nearly all the residents have been living in makeshift shelters in the jungle, Peterson said. Clean water is an issue, and since most of the community is involved in farming, their livelihood is also at stake.

So Peterson, a Hastings native who now lives in Champlin, did something to help. Her mother, four of her mother’s siblings and their children all live in the U.S. now, and many are in the Twin Cities area. They got together and organized a musical fundraiser.

“When we heard from family members in Jaro that all their homes were leveled and that some friends and relatives were injured, we quickly organized the Parasan-Leyte Relief Cause with a Facebook page to help raise money for the village,” Peterson said. “We also started organizing this fundraiser at the Fine Line. We’ve been working to raise awareness, funds and silent auction items for the Parasan-Leyte Relief Cause ever since.”

Many of the issues caused by the typhoon are still problems today, one month later. Although some relief trucks did bring tents for residents of Jaro, small villages aren’t getting much in the way of aid. Peterson hopes this fundraiser will help change that.

The fundraiser will be held Dec. 8 at the Fine Line Music Café in Minneapolis from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Four area bands will perform: The 221s, The Killer M’s, Them Pesky Kids and Mooseknuckle Brothers. There will also be a silent auction, and videos and pictures from Jaro will be on display. Peterson and her family will also be there to answer questions about what’s happening in the area. Tickets are $10.

All proceeds from the event will go directly to the village of Jaro, Leyte, in the Philippines. Peterson said the funds will be given to the Baranguay Captain (similar to a mayor in local terms), and he will distribute the money based on need in the community. Peterson said that providing clean water, homes and medicine are priority uses for the money.

Fine Line Music Café is located at 318 First Ave. N. in Minneapolis.

For more information about the fundraiser, look for the Parasan-Leyte Relief Cause on Facebook or email Leyte. The Facebook page includes a link where donations can be made online. Cash donations can be made at any Wells Fargo bank by making a deposit to the Parasan-Leyte Relief Cause.