Delmarva Family Helps With Philippines Relief Effort - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Delmarva Family, Separated by 8,000 Miles, Helps With Philippines Relief Effort

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James Diehl of Seaford chats via Skype with his wife and daughters who are in the Philippines. James Diehl of Seaford chats via Skype with his wife and daughters who are in the Philippines.

GEORGETOWN, Del.- With more than 8,000 miles separating one Delmarva family, Typhoon Haiyan hit very close to home. James Diehl is at the family's home in Sussex County. Diehl's wife and two young girls are with her sick father in the Philippines. They are all safe, and Diehl is now working to provide relief for Filipinos in need.

It was one of the most powerful storms to ever hit the Philippines. And for 12 hours, Diehl held his breath, not knowing whether or not his wife and kids had made it through.

"It was obviously a very nerve wracking experience," he said. 

"It was really scary, because right when I was going to chat with daddy, saying that we're safe and stuff, the electric went out, and I didn't get to send it," explained Diehl's daughter, Nina.

The storm hit on her 13th birthday.

Thankfully, the Diehl's were some of the lucky ones. WBOC spoke with them Wednesday morning via Skype.

"Our friends and family have been sending us prayers and their thoughts for our safety, and we are lucky," noted Diehl's wife, Dottie. "And we're thankful for that. We are lucky that we're safe, but our heart just goes out to those victims."

The family said being apart is tough, especially in the face of disaster.

"It was really hard being away, because James, we miss him," said Dottie. "And we kind of needed like someone to depend on or to be the strength of the family during this tough time. It's really hard if he's not here."

James said he was overwhelmed with relief after hearing his family was safe, but felt compelled to help those in need.

"We're collecting anything and everything, really," he explained. "I mean there's really nothing that these people don't need. They lost everything and most of these people lost their homes, and there's not insurance money like there is here to rebuild those homes.

Partnering with the Filipino-American Society of Delaware, Diehl said every little bit helps, and will go a long way in aiding what is sure to be a long-lasting need in the Philippines.

James is collecting donations at his workplace, the Sussex County Association of Realtors office in Georgetown. He can be reached at (302) 855-2300, ext. 205

Diehl said you can drop off anything from blankets and clothes to canned goods and monetary donations.

"Even if I have somebody walk in the door with four quarters in their hand, it all helps and it will eventually accumulate and do a lot of good for the people that are in need," he noted.

A cargo company in New York is working with Diehl and the Filipino-American Society of Delaware, and has agreed to ship everything free of charge to the Philippines.

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