Bottle drive for Philippines typhoon aid starts strongly

The Share a Bottle for Life and Hope campaign is off to a good start.

The Share a Bottle for Life and Hope campaign is off to a good start.

Ulysses Maribojoc, co-owner of Red Deer-based Jet Set Travel, started the bottle drive to raise money for the regions in the Philippines affected by Typhoon Washi.

Starting on Tuesday, Maribojoc’s team of volunteers began collecting bottles from homes and businesses in the city. Businesses were invited to donate a day’s worth of bottles.

The money from the bottle drive will be donated to the Kapuso Foundation, an organization that, in part, helps victims of calamity.

Bottle depots in Edmonton and Calgary are also collecting bottles.

Maribojoc said the first day of the campaign was promising with several individuals and local businesses either dropping off bottles to the depots or requesting pickups. Volunteers unloaded four truck loads of bottles at the depots.

One woman in the Grandview neighbourhood donated six large garbage bags filled with bottles.

“It was really good,” said Maribojoc. “This helps a lot in the Philippines. We are hoping we can get more.”

There are an estimated 2,000 people of Filipino background living in Red Deer.

Typhoon Washi made landfall in the Philippines on Dec. 17, triggering massive flash floods across the country’s southern region.

There are reports that the flash floods swept away entire villages. The Associated Press reported the death toll is estimated to be close to 1,500.

The Philippine-Canadian Association is collecting money on behalf of the Canadian Red Cross. To contact the association, call 403-350-3255 or contact the Red Cross directly at www.redcross.ca and specify Philippines Typhoon.

Individuals can take bottles directly to the Cosmos bottle depot on 49th Avenue where they should ask Cosmos staff to sort the bottles into Jet Set Travel’s collection. Interested businesses are asked to donate a day’s worth of bottles and pickups started on Tuesday.

For more information or to volunteer call 403-346-4534. To schedule a pickup, call 587-877-8888.

The campaign runs until Jan.15.

crhyno@bprda.wpengine.com