Lowcountry helps victims of Friday's Typhoon Haiyan
By Nikki Gaskinsngaskins@abcnews4.com
GOOSE CREEK, S.C. (WCIV) It's been three days since a massive typhoon killed hundreds, perhaps even thousands, in the Philippines. With every passing day the need for food, supplies, and shelter continues to grow.
All over the world, people are doing their part to help the many victims of that super storm, including right here in the Lowcountry.
For one Berkeley County church, the devastation created by Typhoon Haiyan hits all too close to home.
It's, you know, horrifying," said Father Jason Caganap of Immaculate Conception Church in Goose Creek.
Four months ago, he visited Tacloban, a city now reduced to rubble.
"It was a beautiful place -- a lot of nice churches, houses that were built 200 years ago," he said.
Now days after the storm he says, communication with friends in the Philippines has been non-existent.
"Right now, I'm still trying to get in touch with my friend who's a priest in the Diocese of Tacloban and I cannot reach him," said Caganap.
Many in his congregation in Goose Creek are Filipino with friends and family still unaccounted for.
"There's a lot of people also who came up to me yesterday after the mass, asking for prayers because they have immediate family who are missing still in the Philippines," said Caganap.
The church is now serving as the base camp for a relief campaign.
"The parish of Immaculate Conception will be doing some second collections in the masses," said Caganap. "After we speak to the bishop and get his approval, then we'll have a full campaign to help out our Filipino brothers and sisters."
In the meantime, the church is also asking for monetary donations. To find out how you can help, call the church directly at 843-572-1270.
In North Charleston, Water Missions International is also doing its part to help with relief efforts.
"Typically, when disaster happens, the biggest need is access to portable water," said the organization's president George Green.
Green says three of their members have left for the disaster-torn area, taking with them three water treatment systems.
"Each one of those systems can provide enough water for about 5,000 people on a daily basis," he said.
While many organizations are still in the early stages of assessing the damage, for Father Caganap, he remains hopeful that the city left in ruins will thrive once again.
"I have faith in God," he said.
Since typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines Friday, the American Red Cross has begun assisting in the relief efforts brought on by the destruction of the Category-5 storm.
The Red Cross has also activated its family tracing services. The Red Cross Palmetto Region is asking anyone concerned about a missing family member in the Philippines remember that many phones lines are down.
As a result they should continue trying to reach their loved ones. If, after several attempts, people cannot be reached, contact the local chapter of the American Red Cross to initiate a tracing case.
People seeking information about loved ones who are a U.S. national should call the U.S. Department of State's Office of Overseas Citizens at 1-888-407-4747.
Financial contributions can be made to the American Red Cross by visiting www.redcross.org or by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS. Donations may also be mailed to the local American Red Cross chapter at on Rivers Avenue.
Immaculate Conception Church in Goose Creek will hold a memorial mass for the victims of the typhoon on Monday at 7 p.m.