CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The Charlotte Chapter of the American Red Cross is stepping in to help victims of Typhoon Haiyan. The organization also wants to help Charlotte families with loved ones in the Philippines to reach out to them.
"It's just saddened me, devastated me as I look at the pictures," said Jojee Pamintuan.
He said when he watches the devastation in the Philippines, his heart breaks. The Charlotte pastor grew up there and visits every year to build churches. At least one of the churches he's planted is in an area hit hard by the typhoon, and Tuesday, he said he still hasn't heard from any of his church members or friends there.
"I wish my mind would not go toward thinking of the worst but I just pray and trust the Lord for the best because that's all really I can do," he said.
The Charlotte Chapter of the American Red Cross announced plans Tuesday to do more. They are going to try to connect people like Pamintuan with their loved ones by using the names of missing people.
"The national headquarters will take that information and reach out to the Filipino Red Cross, get a message back to the family about the status of that individual there," said Angela Broome, regional executive officer of the American Red Cross.
Broome said she's heard stories about relief workers unable to get supplies to those in need. For that reason, they're taking monetary donations to send into the country.
"Logistically, the country is devastated right now, so getting supplies in is hard enough, and then getting it to the individuals," Broome said.
In the meantime, Pamintuan is praying that his church members there will be able to get that help.
"I am praying that they will hold on," he said.
If you'd like help from the Red Cross with reconnecting with your family in the Philippines, call 704-378-4621. You can also go to this website to make monetary donations: http://www.redcross.org/nc/charlotte.
For more stories on Typhoon Haiyan, click here.
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