Family: Aggie and otherwise
Student sacrifices personal Aggie ring fund for Philippnes typhoon relief
Published: Monday, December 2, 2013
Updated: Monday, December 2, 2013 20:12
Across the Pacific on an island country, homes and belongings lay damaged and farms are destroyed. Distributing food remains a priority.
This was on Patty de Veyra’s mind when she made a commitment to donate money she had saved for her Aggie ring to support her family, which was affected by Super Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.
De Veyra, senior allied health major, said after she saw photos of and heard about the destruction caused by the Nov. 8 typhoon, she knew she wanted to find a way to help her family. She knew she would be applying for her ring in January and had money saved.
“To me it’s not like I’m giving it up,” de Veyra said. “It’s like I’m getting my ring, but it’s going to people who actually need it, so that was the very first thing that popped into my head when I wanted to figure out a way to help them out.”
De Veyra said the knowledge that her parents and grandparents watched the places where they created memories be torn apart catalyzed her decision to start a fundraiser and donate her ring money. She and her siblings wanted to show her parents that they were not alone in their relief efforts.
“It’s kind of like the marriage thing, ‘What’s mine is yours,’” de Veyra said. “It’s kind of like that for our family. Especially in the Philippines … everybody shares everything and you’re not just providing for yourself.”
Lindsay Davenport, senior biomedical science major and de Veyra’s roommate, said she became curious when de Veyra began asking her questions about Aggie ring information.
“I just think that it’s so inspiring,” Davenport said. “I couldn’t believe it when she told me. I think as Aggies, the Aggie ring is something you look forward to since day one and you just want that thing on your finger.”
De Veyra said she was born in the Philippines but moved with her parents to the United States when she was six months old. De Veyra said the house her mother grew up in is the same house in which her aunt lives. She said the roof is now gone and there are holes in the exterior, making the conditions barely livable.
“I’m just hoping that this will kind of start up their life again,” de Veyra said. “If they need food, clothing — we want to make sure they can get anything they need to.”
Rebecca McKee, senior bilingual education major and friend of de Veyra, said she was not surprised at all when she found out about de Veyra’s intentions. She said that it was in de Veyra’s character to be a “selfless lover.”
“In general, she just inspires people to be better people,” McKee said. “She’s just such an example for Aggies everywhere, I feel like.”
De Veyra’s money will benefit four of her related families through a fundraising website, youcaring.com. In addition, de Veyra’s family will raise money to rebuild two churches and the seminary school her father attended. She also referenced other relief websites so people would be able to choose different organizations to give to.
“It definitely surprised me that people were willing to give that much, I think that within three days it was already over my goal,” de Veyra said. “I haven’t been more proud to be part of my Aggie family and my actual family until now after all this has happened.”