The Alpha Kappa Omega Fraternity, Alpha Kappa Omicron Sorority and the Akbayan Filipino-American Organization created this joint event in an effort to relieve the troubles from the disaster in the Philippines and Pacific Islands.
In December, Typhoon Sendong struck the southern island Mindanao of the Philippines as well as the Palau and Micronesian islands according to Ingrid Mapanao, Alpha Kappa Omicron Sorority member.
Mapanao mentioned that several places were flooded and destroyed, suffering severe damage and more than 1,000 lives lost.
She said more than 100,000 people have been evacuated and lost their homes as a result.
“I was sitting at work, and wanted to collaborate with other organizations to raise money for the victims in the typhoon that happened last December,” Mapanao said. “Thousands have been suffering in Mindanao and I wanted to provide help.”
Kevin Lai from the Alpha Kappa Omega Fraternity and Arlo Trinidad from Akbayan said they both agreed to join in on this.
Lai said the fraternity believes in their own three pillars of life.
“While our fraternity can be all about brotherhood, our three pillars of social responsibility, leadership and cultural awareness is what it’s all about,” Lai said. “We wanted to bring cultural awareness and social responsibility in this event in giving back to the community.”
The Alpha Kappa Omega fraternity has helped out with several charity events before, according to Lai.
He said there have been concerts and service days that the fraternity has participated in.
Both organizations helped organize the event with the date and time, according to Trinidad.
Mapanao said this is the first time ever that this trio has worked together for something.
All three organizations donated shirts, shoes, hats, knick-knacks and a few Christmas decorations that they didn’t need, according to Jesse Barbon, Akbayan community chair.
He said how they were also open to taking money donations from anyone who wanted to contribute.
Barbon said that Akbayan has three pillars they stand by – community, cultural and social awareness.
“We wanted to bring community awareness with this garage sale,” Barbon said. “Not many at SJSU are aware that this disaster happened and we want others to know about it.”
Trinidad said while their organization is Filipino-based, they are open to help and welcoming to anyone to their group.
“Our world is their world and their world is our world,” he said. “We have to share it and take care of one another by letting them know they have our support.”
According to Mapanao, the garage sale raised $280 for the organization of their choice.
The proceeds will be going to Project PEARLS, according to Akbayan member Francesca Mateo.
This organization helps out those in the Philippines who are in need of help, as the word PEARLS is an acronym that stands for Peace, Education, Aspiration, Respect, Love and Smile, according to its website.
“Project PEARLS will be using this money for schools and tuition for students who lost their homes in the Philippines,” Mateo said. “The money will provide school uniforms and school supplies.”
Mateo said how most relief donations have already focused on clothes and food from other fundraisers and organizations.
“Besides raising money for the Philippines, we want to raise community awareness and help those in need,” said Mapanao. “We hope to bring the community together with the tragedy that happened."
*Leo Postovoit contributed to this article*