Valley Filipinos waiting for calls from family gather at Glendale church

GLENDALE, AZ - A Valley woman waiting to hear from her family in the Philippines for days finally received a phone call from the Red Cross with good news.

For the past three days, Dee Dee Stewart, who has called Arizona her home for 16 years, has been thinking about the tiny island she grew up on that the typhoon swept over.

With no word from her uncle and his family, Stewart was "pretty sure that they got washed away" by the heavy winds and floods that impacted the island, Tacloban city in particular.

Until she received news that they were all safe, the last few days had been a rollercoaster for her as well as other Valley Filipinos. 

But not everyone was as lucky as Stewart.

At a Filipino church in Glendale called Crossover Church, Pastor John Garcia says the best that they can do is pray.

"People are confused, they're seeking for answers. They're trying to make sense of what has happened," Garcia said. 

In the next few days, the church is planning fundraisers for those who want to help, a hotline for those seeking help, and prayer services for anyone who wants to come.

Although Stewart now knows her family is safe, she says she is "still praying for all the people in Tacloban city and any other Filipinos here that have families in that island."

A prayer service will be held Sunday at 10 a.m. at the Glendale Civic Center in the Diamond Ballroom. Everyone is invited to attend.

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