Handang Tumulong Foundation
In June 2008, the Philippines suffered heavy devastation caused by typhoon Frank. In a panic response to the dire situation back home, the Filipino American community in the Northeastern Region USA, with the Philippine Consulate General in New York at the helm, mobilized to raise funds for assistance to the Philippines. Here we saw the birth of the "Project Tulong", and this ad hoc entity was able to raise around $50,000. This was distributed directly to provinces that were hardest hit by the typhoon (e.g. Iloilo, Masbate, Aklan, Samar, etc..) It took some time for funds to be raised but still it was most appreciated by those who were struggling to survive the aftermath.
Learning from this situation, our Filipino community leaders suggested that the community should try to be proactive, instead of just being reactive. With Consul General Cecilia B. Rebong as adviser, this need led to the creation of the "Handang Tumulong" Disaster Relief Fund, a readiness project that hopes to be able to send immediate assistance to the Philippines in the event of future calamities visiting the Philippines again.
To kick-off the the Handang Tumulong project, a piano concert was held at the Philippine Center Kalayaan Hall on October 24, 2008. The very talented performer, who generously donated his time and talent "gratis et amore", was Concert Pianist Rudolf Pelaez Golez. As a start, the concert raised $1,900 net, for the Handang Tumulong Fund.