UPDATE: Local Group Helping with Aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan

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UPDATE: ROCKFORD(WIFR) -- Over 6 months ago Rockford based First Love International Ministries launched Operation Hope Philippines as a response to Super Typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan devastating the Philippines with over 200 MPH winds and ocean surges of up to 30 feet. The faithful men and women with First Love have been working 6 days per week in an effort to offer hope which is bringing joy into the hearts of an entire community of folks who were most affected.

Since then, over 100 homes have been repaired or rebuilt – including over 25 new homes, a new church/ministry center has been planted with 80-100 people now attending weekly worship services.

50 families received free water filters and a feeding program is happening 5 days per week, with an additional 100,000 more meals shipped to Tacloban on May 27.

The group's goal for the future is to build another 50-75 homes before the end of the year.

In the last six months, Rockford based First Love International Ministries has been making great strides in the Philippines in response to a super typhoon that devastated the area.

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- It’s still hard to gauge the devastation left behind by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines as families are left picking up the pieces of what used to be their normal daily lives.

The Philippines has declared a state of emergency after Typhoon Haiyan. Authorities fear up to 10,000 people may be dead. Winds topped 170 miles per hour in the storm, about 800,000 people were evacuated before the Typhoon hit, but relief organizations were quickly overwhelmed.

Here at home, two people are preparing to go to the Philippines to try and help.

Tom and Linda Clinton have traveled the world helping those in need, so it probably comes as no surprise they’re getting ready to fly over to what is the scene of one of the worst natural disasters in recorded history.

The Clintons founded “First Love International Ministries” right here in the Forest City and they have several missions already established in the Philippines. They plan on helping near those missions rebuild their lives after the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan as well as get them the immediate care they so desperately need.

“What we need to do now is to help those that are totally homeless. They have nothing to drink or eat, no warm, dry clothing and so we’re trying to do all we can to aid them as soon as possible,” said Tom Clinton.

The Clintons are raising money to take with them when they leave the U.S. this weekend. So far, they’ve collected $25,000. Their goal before Saturday is $50,000. They say every penny goes directly to the people in need.

Members of First Love International Ministries say they’re hope is to help 500 to 1,000 families survive the initial aftermath of the storm. They also hope to stick with them for a couple years to make sure they get back on their feet.

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