What They Are Packing In Memphis For Typhoon Haiyan Victims

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(Memphis) Help from the Mid-South will soon be headed to the Central Philippines to help the victims of Typhoon Haiyan.

At least 1,700 are now feared dead, and more than a half a million were displaced by the storm.

For the past two days, members of Memphis Mission of Mercy have been packing up blankets, hospital gowns, baby clothes, towels, sheets and ready-to-eat meals.

"In five minutes, you have a hot meal," said David Velasquez

Renato Zalamea, an American-Filipino, started the group ten years ago to provide humanitarian aid to the Philippines.

He has a team living there now and said this will mean a lot to those who have lost everything.

"We are asking for flip-flops or shoes because we saw on TV that they are working barefooted on the rubble," said Zalamea.

At UT Health Science Center in the Medical district, they are collecting money that will go directly to the Red Cross to help.

The school has helped with disaster relief before and knows how much money will be needed.

"A lot of people need help. A lot of people have passed away and a lot have not been found," said Rusty Middleton.

Middleton, a physical therapy student, has family in the Philippines.

He dropped off $340 collected from fellow students.

"Just between a class of 50, I was just really surprised and thankful they gave that," said Middleton.

His family still hasn't heard from an aunt.

He is hoping that she is OK, and that all the donations will help the storm battered Philippines begin to recover.

Most of the items boxed up by Memphis Mission of Mercy were donated by Methodist Healthcare.

If you would like to help the group, click here for contact information.