MANATEE -- The Gettel Automotive Group has offered help to those who want to donate relief supplies and money for victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.
The business will provide seven locations in Manatee and Sarasota counties where goods and monetary donations can be dropped off.
"We're all about our community, about helping people in need," Ellen Walther, public relations director for the Gettle Automotive Group, said Thursday.
The business will put out boxes for donations and post information on its website and on posters around town. Gettel is also asking its employees and the community to help contribute.
"We're able to take money, we do have a tax ID form we can supply," she said.
A press conference is set for 11 a.m. Friday at Hope Lutheran Church, 4635 26th St. W., Bradenton, according to Diana Ros, a native of the Philippines and a volunteer executive director, event manager and case manager for the nonprofit Gift2care.
Gift2care, with an office in Bradenton, is the church's partner in relief collection.
She said people may also bring items and money for donations to the church. They can also volunteer to help with a fundraiser set for Dec. 7 that will feature a walk in the morning and a concert at night.
The organization is collecting to send to residents, who are without food, water, housing, electricity and transportation.
"It's really helping a lot of people," Ros said of the area's generosity toward storm victims.
Also among those helping are Shelterbox USA, with an office at Lakewood Ranch, and the American Red Cross. The powerful typhoon, which hit the Philippines on Nov. 8, already ranks as one of Asia's most destructive natural disasters in recent decades. The Salvation Army will accept money, but not goods as of now, according to Glenda Leonard, development director for the Sarasota Salvation Army.
"The idea is we provide financial support so they can put it back into their economy there, buying water and clothing and stuff," she said. Trying to ship items to the Philippines, she said, poses a "logistical nightmare."Sara Kennedy, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7031. Follow her on Twitternote>