by: PEGGY SAVAGE - Photo by Peggy Savage

Dr. Al Borromeo, a Molalla dentist, packs up donated items in preparation for a flight to the Philippines, where he will pitch in and help where needed.Molalla dentist Al Borromeo is going home to the with containers full of donated supplies for those in need following the catastrophic storm that left millions homeless in the Philippines.

“I’m going back to check on my loved ones,” said Borromeo, whose family lives on the island Cebu. “I’m grateful to the community for helping me do this.”

Borromeo was loading boxes into a white trailer he had set up in front of his dental office as a repository for donations to be sent.

Several days prior to boarding a plane for the island, he had already shipped 50 boxes of items collected from giving friends.

“There are still 15 more boxes coming and my supplier is giving us 1,500 toothbrushes and toothpaste,” he said Thursday. “I am so grateful to this community. I put this on Facebook, and they just filled my trailers. It’s the community. I think Americans are so generous, and they are willing to help. That’s what I’m thankful for.”

He said he has 3,000 friends on Facebook, and many of them, once they’d seen his request for help, came through with boxes of soap, foods, tents, clothing and more.

Before digging in to help, once he arrives there, Borromeo said he needs to check on his parents and family. He said his parents fared better than many, and that their house is still standing.

“My aunt has an orphanage,” he said. “She’s a nun and that’s what I support I speak the language, and am Filipino, so I will assess what help they need and then we will go from there. I need to know biggest need — clean water, shelter or food. The town’s mayor is saying it’s been six days, and nobody is helping them in the remote areas.”

Borromeo said he will fly out on Thanksgiving day, and he and his family will stay two weeks. His wife and two teenage daughters will accompany him. “My daughters have been so blessed here, so I want them to see,” Borromeo said. “It’s hard to imagine 12,000 people dying and three million homeless there.”

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