Lynchburg Filipinos Unsuccessful Attempts to Contact Family and Friends

UPDATE: 9:30 p.m.

You heard her heart wrenching story first, on ABC 13 News at 11 Tuesday night.

Janice Carver, a Lynchburg woman born and raised in the Philippines, frantically trying to reach her family that lives right on the coast where that typhoon made landfall.

Carver says she got an email from her family in the Philippines notifying her that everyone is safe, and accounted for following the 11 p.m. newscast.

She says she can finally put to rest a scary few days.


Lynchburg, VA - From Virginia, the Philippines is a fifteen hour flight away. But for some local women, their hearts are there; 8,500 miles across an ocean; feeling helpless, waiting to hear if their friends and family are even alive.

Janice Carver was born in the Philippines. She lives now in Lynchburg.

Her family though, so many aunts, uncles, and cousins are there today; she hopes, somewhere amidst the devastation.

"We haven't heard we haven't heard anything from them" said Carver.

She's made numerous attempts via email and Facebook to reach her family, but still no word on if they survived the storm.

"I have a 16 year old cousin that goes to school in Tacloban and as you know, there's like 10,000 people that have passed on, we haven't heard anything from him either" she said.

Her family hails from the small coastal fishing village of Bobon. It sits right along the coast where that tremendous typhoon made land fall.

She fears the worst for that town, her home.

"I know it's gone. My mother's house, I mean it's, if you walk out to the back yard, your back yard is the water" said Carver.

"It's just so heartbreaking, I can't watch the news, it's just heartbreaking, it's devastating" she said.

"My sister and I made the house, the garage, a drop off point" said Carolyn Obligacion, Carver's friend.

Carver finds comfort in Obligacion, a fellow Filipino. Her family is unaffected by the storm, so now, Obligacion's efforts have turned to finding help for families like Carver's.

"The challenge is how to get the food and the necessities immediately from where they're at" said Obligacion.

Carver is holding out hope from afar, that the storm that battered her home, won't have hit the hardened spirit of her proud people.

"Please continue to pray just for that spirit, that fighting spirit to still be intact throughout this whole horrific event" she said.

Horrific the word certainly that comes to mind when describing the scene in the Philippines.

Obligacion, like we mentioned, is accepting donations to send to her home country. If you'd like to help her, she can be reached via email at She has set up a collection point for supplies at her home.

Other organizations that are helping the Philippines include The Red Cross, UNICEF, and Gleaning for the World, which has set up collection points on November 12 and November 14.

They are located at Sam's Club on Wards Road in Lynchburg: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Walmart off Route 460 in Bedford: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

And in Roanoke, you can drop off supplies at Word of Truth Ministries.

The biggest need is for rice, hand sanitizer, over the counter medications, powdered milk, flashlights, batteries, baby supplies, personal hygiene products, towels, washcloths, and canned meat.