On December 4th, #FUNDHAIYAN Philippines Fundraiser was hosted at the Hard Rock Café with 10 performances and a silent auction. All proceeds were donated to the Canadian Red Cross to aid in their disaster relief efforts. This event took place 3 weeks after Donata Ling, the main event coordinator, saw the disturbing images of the catastrophic disaster for the first time. Then, she had an idea.
“I felt helpless because the images were horrific, homes were destroyed and towns were abandoned. I couldn’t imagine what I would do in their situation,” said Donata Ling
#FUNDHAIYAN fundraiser was composed of performances from vastly different artistic genres, including R&B music, rock, acoustic, powerful vocal sets, and drama improvisation from young local talent such as Becky Yonge, Amanda Piron, Glenn Sevillo, Jeremy Walmsley, Esther Lee, Jazmin Jade Aron, Nehemiah Flow, Ryan Field, Jaffa Charles, Edmund Arevalo, Martin Kuwawi and Chyrell Samson. The unique mix of cultures expressed the main theme of the night - we are ONE with the ‘survivors’ not victims of the Super Typhoon. The name #FUNDHAIYAN allowed anyone to tag their photos and post them on Instagram. In doing this, Funsnap.me, Australia’s most innovative photography event service, was able to print these photos from across the world.
After speaking with a friend who was busy organizing #FUNDYOLANDA - a fundraiser in Adelaide on 30th November, Donata was inspired to do the same in Toronto.
“I started to connect with friends, especially Filipino friends, but it wasn’t enough,” said Donata Ling
She contacted ISX, Canada’s leading international student tour operator, in hopes of getting help with promotions. Thankfully, Sonia Cheng, the general manager of ISX, was enthusiastic in supporting the fundraising efforts. She immediately got to work by printing flyers and promoting to their extensive network.
The silent auction was supported by local businesses such as Sports Centre, XTC Clothing Inc., and the Hard Rock Café. Other Toronto favorites were also made available to bidders, including tickets to the CN Tower, Medieval Times, a night stay at the Holiday Inn, and Airport Express Bus tickets among others.
In addition to the fundraising success, the evening engaged young people to contribute their experience and time - something more valuable than money.
“I had an amazing time and lots of fun meeting new people and performing at Hard Rock Café for the first time,” said one of the performers Glenn Sevillo
In total, the fundraising efforts are slightly shy of $2000, but the Canadian government is matching dollar for dollar until December 23rd. #FUNDHAIYAN is still collecting donations through an online portal:www.redcross.ca/#fundhaiyan. Furthermore, for donations over $10, a free t-shirt is given which states: “Let’s help, let’s help, let’s go” in Tagalog, sponsored by the Filipino TV network ABS-CBN. You can check out the event photos on Facebook: