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Columbia, SC (WLTX) --It's been a little over a week since Typhoon Haiyan devastated an entire province of the Philipines.

"'Typhoon' in the Philippines is like a household word," Helen Alon said.

Now the word has been on the lips of people all across the world.

"Hearing from the news, yeah, we expected it to be really bad, but never that bad," Cecilia Jacobsen said.

Jacobsen is the president of the Filipino-America Association of Greater Columbia.

"We kind of share a little agony there and helplessness because we couldn't do anything. We're not there to do anything," Jacobsen said.

"It's just unbelievable that it happened," Alon said.

One of the founding members of the organization, Alon, said they felt the need to do something immediately.

"Even thought this was a very short notice, we said, 'let's go ahead and do it if we could raise some funds.' It can add a little bit more money to our funds that we already have," Alon said. "I know even thought it may not be enough, but just a little help, I think, would make a difference."

The group pulled together a basketball exhibition and sold Filipino cuisine.

More than 100 people came to aid in the effort.

"It feels good that people are compassionate about other people and it's also overwhelming," Jacobsen said.

Jacobsen said the challenge for Filipinos will be what comes afterward.

"It's going to be a long process to rebuild, but we can do this," Jacobsen said.


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