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How Chicago Is Helping Filipino Survivors Of Typhoon Haiyan (And What You Can Do)

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Nearly a week after the devastating Typhoon Haiyan rocked the Philippines, Chicagoans are stepping up efforts to get much-needed aid to survivors as fast as possible.

According to CBS Chicago, the Philippines consulate in Chicago received more than 5,000 calls from people trying to connect with loved ones on the island.

The typhoon, which made landfall Friday, walloped the small island with 147-mph winds leaving potentially thousands dead. Survivors, meanwhile, are reportedly in desperate need for food, clothing and medicine.

(EARLIER: How To Help Typhoon Haiyan Survivors)

For many of Chicago's Filipino residents, helping with relief efforts is a way to possibly help loved ones abroad.

"I know there's a lot of families here who still have family in the Philippines," Thelma Bascos, president of the Filipino American Council of Chicago, told DNAinfo Chicago. "They're nervous. There's no way to get in touch with people there."

Already, donations of food, clothes and medicine poured into sites like Uptown's Rizal Center Chicago, according to ABC Chicago.

Wednesday evening, a C130 cargo plane is landing in town to pick up donated items bound for the Red Cross in the Philippines, Fox Chicago reports.

As the FACC and other groups round up donations to benefit the Philippine Red Cross, Bascos and other officials are urging people to donate money rather than clothing and food.

“Some of the clothes, some of the canned goods coming from countries that are the opposite side of the world might reach the Philippines 30 days later,” Philippine Consul General Leo Herrera-Lim told CBS.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan also warned people to beware of scams and offered tips on ensuring donations go to reputable charities.

"In the wake of such massive destruction, people understandably want to do what they can to help others in need,” Madigan said. “Unfortunately, scam artists try to take advantage of this goodwill."

HOW TO SUPPORT LOCAL TYPHOON HAIYAN RELIEF EFFORTS:

Checks benefiting the Filipino Red Cross can be made out to "FACC" -- the Filipino American Council of Chicago -- and dropped off at the group's headquarters, 1332 W. Irving Park Rd.

The Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago is raising funds as well, and donations can be made, online, by phone (call 312-444-2869) or by sending a check to the Jewish Federation Typhoon Haiyan Relief Fund, Room 3022, 30 S. Wells St., Chicago, IL 60606.

Visit ChicagoPride.com for a list of upcoming benefit events.

Also on HuffPost:

Typhoon Haiyan Aftermath (WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES)
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