Sunday | December 10, 2017
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Hawaii organizations gear up to help in Philippines

Hawaii organizations are offering ways for Hawaii residents to reach friends and relatives affected by Typhoon Haiyan.

The Hawaii Red Cross has set up a family tracing services hot line for those looking for missing family members in the Philippines. The American National Red Cross has sent two telecommunication specialists and a satellite system to the Philippines. Dial 739-8115 and leave a message with your name and phone number and a caseworker will return the call. Callers will be asked to give the full name, address and telephone number of the missing person. The Hawaii Red Cross will forward inquiries to the American National Red Cross, which is working with the Philippine Red Cross to locate family members.

Those who wish to donate to help those in need can mail a check, payable to “American Red Cross,” to the Hawaii office. Write “Philippine Typhoon” in the memo line for Philippines response specifically or “Pacific Typhoon” for the Philippines, Vietnam and other affected countries. The mailing address is Hawaii Red Cross, 4155 Diamond Head Road, Honolulu, HI 96816.

Donations may also be made via or by calling 1-800-REDCROSS. For corporate or larger community fundraising events, call 739-8133.

Hawaiian Telcom is offering free phone calls to the Philippines for all residential home customers through Nov. 30.

The company announced the charge waiver Monday, in response to Typhoon Haiyan. The efforts are intended to help Hawaii residents communicate with family and friends in the Philippines, officials said.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with those in the Philippines during this most difficult time,” President and CEO Eric Yeaman said. “Hawaii’s people have always had a strong connection to the Philippines — for many local residents, the Philippines was once home. In this time of crisis, we’d like to make it as easy as possible for our customers to contact family and friends in the Philippines who may have been impacted by these tragic events.”

For customers with Hawaiian Telcom Long Distance service, calls placed to the Philippines going back to Friday, will not be charged. Home phone customers with Hawaiian Telcom international long distance plans who are making calls to the Philippines during the free calling period do not need to make any changes to their accounts in order to take advantage of this program. Customers who do not have Hawaiian Telcom as their international long distance provider may call 643-0929 to designate Hawaiian Telcom, at no cost, then begin free calling to the Philippines. The program will cover any direct calls to the Philippines. Calls to operators or directory assistance will continue to be charged at the usual rate. Hawaiian Telcom also cannot override charges incurred by residential home phone customers for any calls using a different international long distance carrier.

Customers are encouraged to refrain from extended telephone conversations because of the limited available capacity of the Philippines communications network.

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Hawaiian Telcom is also providing free access to premium channel 821, TFC (The Filipino Channel), through midnight Friday to all Hawaiian Telcom TV customers in response to the emergency situation in the Philippines.