SAN JOSE - College students are teaming up with a Peninsula-based Filipino nonprofit to hold a three-day relief drive in San Jose to aid victims of Typhoon Haiyan, which hit the central Philippines last week.
The typhoon, believed to be one of the most powerful recorded natural disasters in history, is estimated to have killed thousands of people and left hundreds of thousands homeless.
Project PEARLS, a nonprofit that serves underprivileged children in the Philippines, and multiple fraternities and sororities from San Jose State University will be collecting supplies and monetary donations from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. today through Thursday outside of the college's event center at 290 S. Seventh St.
People can donate non-perishable food, baby formula, baby food, toiletries, medicine, or cash. Donated items will be shipped through LBC Foundation to the Philippine Red Cross for distribution.
Project PEARLS co-founder Francesca Villa Mateo, 22, is a San Jose State student majoring in global studies who reached out to the school's Filipino student organization Akbayan to hold the relief drive.
Her mom, Melissa Villa, arrived in Manila last Wednesday on a medical mission for their organization, two days before the typhoon hit, Mateo said.
Her mother was unhurt in the typhoon, and she has since talked to her on the phone.
"When I was speaking to my mom, she feels she's in an end-of-the-world movie," Mateo said.
Mateo said she's glad there was forewarning about the typhoon, which allowed people to prepare, but that the death toll is difficult to comprehend.
"I'm just incredibly astonished by how everyone's working together for one cause. It's a beautiful reaction that the SJSU community is having with us," Mateo said.