Westchester family collects for the Philippines

p-for-p

The Flosse family—Ava, 9, and Christian, 7, pictured—collect money from students and parents at Rye’s Osborn School for victims of the devastating typhoon that hit the Philippines on Nov. 8. Photo/Nicolette Flosse

By LIZ BUTTON
A brother and sister from Rye’s Osborn School organized a charity drive to collect Pennies for the Philippines after a destructive typhoon hit the country earlier this month.
Ava Flosse, 9, and her seven-year-old brother Christian helped collect $414 from their schoolmates to support the typhoon relief efforts of the American Red Cross after the devastating storm in the southeastern Asian country on Nov. 8.
Typhoon Haiyan blew across the western Pacific Ocean two weeks ago and pummeled the islands with sustained winds of 195 miles per hour. At least 13 million Filipinos of the country’s 96 million people were affected by the storm; as of Nov. 18, the death toll is estimated at 4,000 people.

Ava, Christian and their mo­ther, Nicolette, collected donations after school near the front entrance of Osborn School each day during the week of Nov. 11 to support the relief effort.

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Devastation after the Philippines typhoon was widespread and severe. Photo courtesy ekimeeza.com

“The children and I were trying to figure out something to do,” Nicolette Flosse said. The family decided ollecting actual monetary donations would be the best plan.

Most foreign relief organizations discourage people from sending care items or canned food during disasters, since it is harder for victims to get the goods given travel delays and the red tape that can crop up in the aftermath of catastrophic events such as the typhoon.

Two years ago, Flosse said, she helped the children set up a stand to sell homemade lemonade by the glass for a dollar to benefit children with cancer and they made more than $1,100 over the course of several days.

This time, the Flosses went door to door asking for money at first, but then Osborn Principal Angela Garcia suggested Ava and Christian stand outside of the school to solicit donations, Nicolette said.

“People have been throwing in all kinds of change. It’s really sweet to see the children come and give to our project,” she said. One Osborn mother even came by the Flosse house and donated $100 to the effort.

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Just a small sample of the typhoon’s aftermath. Photo courtesy vosizneias.com

In these difficult economic times, giving to charity is still a sensitive topic since people are still hurting financially during the recession. For this reason, the Flosse family only asked for coins, figuring that if people wanted to do more, they could.

“It was just beautiful. We didn’t want to ask for more than change,” Nicolette said, but she was overwhelmed by the results.

The family dropped the m­­oney off at the Red Cross in Greenwich, Conn., on Monday.

Nicolette Flosse said she was touched by the outpouring of support from the community for victims in need. Besides the Red Cross, where the Flosses donated, other major relief organizations that are accepting donations for the Philippines include Oxfam, Mercy Corps, UNICEF, Direct Relief International and Global Giving.

Westchester County’s Filip­ino population is significant, and some may have family across the sea who need help. The Census American Community Survey estimates that 7,629 Westc­he­ster residents are Filipino as of 2012.
CONTACT: liz@hometwn.com

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About Liz Button

Liz Button is a staff reporter for Hometown Media Group’s The Rye Sound Shore Review. Previously, she covered Bedford and Mount Kisco for The Daily Voice, an Internet-based, hyperlocal publication. She’s also written for Patch in her hometown of Trumbull, Conn., as a freelance reporter and fill-in editor. Preceding her time there, she worked in publishing in New York City. She is a 2008 graduate of Bowdoin College with a degree in English. Reach Liz at 914-653-1000 x20 or liz@hometwn.com; follow her on Twitter @ryesoundshore.