On November 8, Typhoon Haiyan, considered to be the strongest storm to ever make landfall, struck the city of Tacloban, on the central east coast of the Philippines. The storm destroyed everything in its path, and is said to have caused the deaths of an estimated 3,500 people. The economic impact of the storm is projected at $14 billion.

RPI Relief, an organization formed to respond to natural disasters, is collaborating closely with Rensselaer students in the Philippine American League to raise money to support Filipinos in need. The coordinated effort includes informing the community about the disaster and the Rensselaer relief efforts, recruiting organizations to help raise money, managing the funds raised and distributing them to the World Food Programme, Philippine Red Cross, Unicef, and Doctors Without Borders.

“Rensselaer is affected by this tragedy as many in our community, including a number of students, have family members and friends living in the region. It is on behalf of them and our need to contribute to the recovery the best way we can, that we have activated RPI Relief: The Philippines to provide support for our own community as well as the Philippine community in need. Everyone who lives through a disaster or traumatic event is touched by the experience,” said Tim Sams, vice president for student life.

A number of fundraising events have already been held on campus, and there will be additional opportunities to contribute to this cause. On Friday, Nov. 22, from 8 to 11 p.m. in the Rensselaer Union McNeil Room, the Community Advocates will be selling desserts and collecting donations during the Freshman Talent Show.

RPI Relief is collecting general donations from the Rensselaer community through Dec. 6. Donations should be in the form of checks made payable to the charity of one’s choice, with “RPI Relief: The Philippines” in the subject line. You may drop off the donation at the Finance Department, Troy Building, fifth floor. Your donation will be acknowledged by the charity, and will be tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.