Birmingham youngsters continue to aid Philippines disaster appeal

Funds raised during Chinese New Year celebrations.

As 1.7 billion people around the world are celebrating Chinese New Year this fortnight during the Spring Festival, a group of young Birmingham volunteers have used it to kick off another fundraiser in aid of the Philippines Typhoon Appeal.

On January 31st, Project TOMs had its 19th fundraiser event, comprised of a charity raffle in aid of the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC)/Philippines Typhoon Appeal, at a VIP Chinese New Year party hosted by Chung Ying Central Restaurant on Colmore Row, Birmingham.

The exclusive bash saw an array of entertainment including; traditional lion-dancing by the Choy Lee Fut Academy, performances by Birmingham Chinese School students as well as Birmingham’s very own Dimsum Style. It was attended by VIPs and West Midlands media and broadcasters. Along with the previous fundraiser in November, a total of £800 has been raised for the worthy cause.

Typhoon Haiyan was 300 miles across when it struck the Philippines on the 8th November 2013 and was one of the most intense tropical storms in history. Over 13 million people have been affected, including five million children. It had brought torrential rain and intense winds of nearly 200mph, as well as storm surges of 30 feet high – devastating entire coastal areas. Hundreds of thousands have been forced from their homes and their lives torn apart. Those who have survived still need help including everyday essentials, as well as aftermath recovery. 

2014 marks the sixth anniversary of Project TOM, a voluntary, non-profit group that encourages more young people into charity work. Volunteers get together two or three times a year to fundraise and support various different charities around the world. Everyone donates their spare time and effort on top of their full-time jobs or studies. To date, they have raised over £39,215 for charitable causes both at home and abroad, with almost 60,000 beneficiaries. 

WaiLo Li, 29, a Communications Manager by day, co-ordinated the charity events in her spare time, alongside Project TOM volunteers. “We were delighted to kick off the Year of The Horse with an act of kindness – these people still need help and we’re pleased to have been able to do so, even in such a small way.  

As the founder of Project TOM, she tells us; “We’d like to thank all the volunteers involved and Midland Linen Ltd’s corporate donation as well as Chung Ying Restaurant Group for sponsorship of all of the raffle prizes for both fundraisers. We’re grateful for our sponsor’s long-term help and kind support with Project TOM’s charity events, enabling us to help those in need.”

Established in 2008, Project TOM (a voluntary, non-profit group) aims to encourage young people into charity work,. More information can be found on