By Mary O’KEEFE
Anyone in the Glendale and Crescenta Valley communities who has a non-profit organization is well aware of the generosity of the Porto family. Through Porto’s Bakery, they have reached out to help not only local community organizations but those far beyond the shores of America.
An example of this generosity was demonstrated recently when Porto’s donated a $10,000 check to the American Red Cross in support of its relief efforts in the Philippines.
In November, a powerful typhoon hit the Philippines. According to reports, Typhoon Haiyan (also known as Yolanda) was 300 miles across when it struck land, with sustained winds of 195 mph. According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, it was reported that 6,109 people died, 28,626 were injured and 1,779 are still missing. Over four million people have been displaced.
The American Red Cross has sent personnel with expertise in disasters to the Philippines, said Ron Farina, executive director of the American Red Cross Glendale Crescenta Valley Chapter.
Porto’s Bakery owner Betty Porto said she has a large customer base that is from the Philippines and wanted to do something to help after the devastating natural disaster.
“We have done this [type of fundraiser] in the past,” said Porto. For example, the bakery had a fundraiser for relief efforts following the 2011 tsunami that struck Japan.
The bakery chose one of its more popular items, their cheese roll, and for three days 20% of the proceeds from the sales were dedicated to the American Red Cross disaster relief efforts.
Porto said this type of fundraiser creates a very busy atmosphere, even more so than the bakery’s normally hectic day, but it is a great way to get the employees and community involved in helping.
“When you put something like this together, it motivates employees,” she said.
She chose the Red Cross to donate the funds to because she “wanted to pick an organization that gets things done.”
The money will be used to help purchase supplies that are needed by the residents of the Philippines like water, food and heavy-duty plastic sheets, said Farina.
“I believe that Porto’s should be congratulated. They take a leadership role in the community and allow people to participate in the fundraiser,” he said. “They reach out to customers and make it easy for them to give. We salute them and appreciate the fact that they step up.”
Porto feels donating and helping others is the right thing to do.
“We feel if you do business in the community it is a good thing to [give back to] the community,” Porto said.
For information on how to donate to the American Red Cross, visit www.redcross.org.