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      How you can help a local Typhoon Haiyan victim

      A Southeast Iowa woman went to visit her family in the Philippines and was there when Super Typhoon Haiyan hit. While she had the option to go home, she is staying to take care of her friends and loved ones.

      Susie Gonzales left for the Philippines a couple weeks ago to take care of her mother who wasnâ??t doing very well. Then Friday, Nov. 15, a strong typhoon slammed into the country.

      â??When the typhoon hit, at the time, she was housing 60 people that had lost their homes or didnâ??t have strong enough structures,â?? Andrea Gonzales said. â??A couple weeks before they were hit with a 7.2 magnitude earthquake, so there was a lot of destruction already, so being the wonderful person she is, she invited all these people into her house to keep safe.â??

      The small Filipino town where Susieâ??s family lives wasnâ??t struck the worst.â??It was a big waiting game for three to four days before we heard from her after the storm, so just to hear that she was safe was most important, then a couple days later when she was asking for help, that was a big deal, she doesnâ??t ever ask for help, so we knew she was pretty desperate,â?? Sarah Krenz said.

      But because most of the relief funds are going to the part of the country that had the most destruction, her step-daughters are posting flyers and spreading the word, raising money to save Susie.

      â??She can access a well on her property to help get water for her neighbors and her community, but they need financial help to build that pump, so that was our first reason that we started this fund,â?? Andrea said.

      Sarah and Andrea say more than 20 people are living with Susie and her mom, and they wonâ??t have electricity restored for at least one to two months.

      â??Every little bit helps,â?? Sarah said, â??but just being able to help her help them is very important.â??

      â??Our mom, sheâ??s one of the most amazing people that you could ever imagine,â?? Andrea said. â??If angels could walk this earth, sheâ??s definitely one of them, so we will do anything we can, any help is appreciated, prayers mostly, thatâ??s very helpful for us.â??

      You can donate to the Save Susie Fund online or through an account set up under the same name at Community First Credit Union in Bloomfield and Ottumwa.