Rock Hill woman prays relatives in Philippines are safe - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Rock Hill woman prays relatives in Philippines are safe

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ROCK HILL, SC (WBTV) -

It's been a week since Typhoon Haiyan slammed into the Philippines and many families in the country are still feeling the devastation with loss of shelter, power and food.

Officials say more than 2,000 people are dead and thousands more are missing, including one Rock Hill woman's family.

"I was crying this morning," said Veronica Mahaffey.

It's been a week full of emotions for Mahaffey.

"I'm blocked. My mind is blocked. I'm working hard, but my mind is somewhere else," she continued.

Mahaffey moved to the states from the Philippines in 1992 and currently works at Tropical Sunrise, a breakfast and lunch spot in Rock Hill.

Her family (dad, brothers and sisters) still lives in her native country and she has yet to hear from them since Typhoon Haiyan made landfall a week ago.

She admits not knowing the well-being of her family is taking a toll on her.

"My whole family is there and I'm the only one in the states. I'm worried a lot and it's hard for me to cover everything over here," said Mahaffey.

Tessie Baldwin is the Co-owner of Tropical Sunrise and she's also Filipino.

She says she can understand what the people are going through overseas because she's been through a couple of typhoons herself growing up in the Philippines.

"We were completely wiped out. Our home was completely wiped out. It's hard to re-start and I can understand their feelings right now," said Baldwin.

Now, Baldwin and co-owner Brenda Mobley are helping the relief effort by collecting donations at the restaurant.

Also, this Sunday, a benefit dinner will be held with half of the proceeds collected going to the American Red Cross.

100% of waitress' tips from the event will go to the Red Cross as well.

Mobley said a calling from God gave her the idea to host the benefit and she couldn't see herself not helping out in a time of despair.

"It's a need. When you see what's going on over there in the Philippines with the families and their begging for food and water, this is what I can give to them," said Mobley.

As for Mahaffey, she's trying to remain optimistic in hopes she'll get a phone call from her loved ones she misses so much.

"It's hard and I'm just praying and hoping everybody is safe," she said.

The benefit will be held this Sunday morning at Tropical Sunrise from 10:30 to 2.

Plates start at $12.

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