Relief effort welcomes local donations for Philippines

Minot-area residents who want to donate to survivors of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines can do so at a local drop-off location.

Todd Pryor, owner of the Great Plains Smoke Shop, said he regularly ships care packages to the Philippines and will be sending a shipment in two or three weeks that will go directly to the area affected by the disaster.

Authorities reported at least 2 million people had been affected by Friday’s typhoon and at least 23,000 houses had been damaged or destroyed. An estimated 10,000 people are believed to have lost their lives, although the official count is much lower due to the slow pace that recovery efforts have been able to progress.

Survivors have been clamoring for aid, according to news reports.

Pryor said he is accepting any type of donated disaster relief item. Relief items can include hygiene products, baby items, canned and other nonperishable food, flashlights, batteries, first-aid supplies, new or good used clothing, shoes and blankets.

Donations can be brought to the smoke shop at 1205 N. Broadway during store hours from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day, with the exception of noon to 7 p.m. on Sundays.

Pryor ships through Forex Cargo, which provides door to door delivery of personal care packages to the Philippines. Pryor and his wife, who is a native of the Philippines, are members of the Magic City Chapter of the Filipino-American Association.

Pryor has been shipping to the Philippines for five years and said he typically sends a box every month or so, often sending donations from local residents with ties to the country. Some local residents have family near the areas hardest hit by the typhoon, he said.

He also ships Bibles and school supplies for a local church-related group.

Pryor does not accept cash donations. He suggests people who want to contribute financially to disaster recovery in the Philippines do so online at (abscbnfoundation.org).