WHITE MARSH, Md. (WJZ) — The situation in the Philippines grows more dire as people struggle to find food, clean water and even shelter after Typhoon Haiyan. An estimated 600,000 people are homeless, taking shelter wherever they can. The official death toll is 2,300 but it is expected to rise. A massive international aid effort is underway and some people from Maryland are preparing to go into the hardest-hit islands.

Kai Jackson has more on their missions to help.

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A church whose members are filled with Filipino-Americans is working around the clock to send supplies and hope back home.

An assembly line of hope is operating in White Marsh . At the River of Life International Christian Fellowship, members are collecting supplies to send to the survivors of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

“We are collecting clothes, dried goods, canned goods,” said Pastor Marilou Uybengkee.

With each passing day, the situation in the Philippines is moving from dire to desperation.

Joisie Menes grew up in the Philippines.

“You would cry. Your heart would…break,” Menes said. “Yeah, it’s really so devastating.”

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Water, food, shelter and medicine are all in short supply. Now the city of Baltimore is sending members of its Emergency Management Team to help some of the 600,000 people with no place to live.

C.P. Hsia with the Mayor’s Office of Emergency Planning spoke with WJZ by phone.

“I’m gonna be there in a planning function. I’m going to be figuring out what resources we have and what we expect to see in terms of patients and types of injuries and things like that,” Hsia said.

River of Life Christian Fellowship will continue collecting supplies until Nov. 22. At that time, they’ll send those items to the Philippines.

If it’s true that the little things count, a 12-year-old has made a big impact. She broke her piggy bank to donate to the Philippines.

“I brought it to school and I broke it because I wanted to donate as much money as I could to the Philippines,” said Johanna Tapangan.

If you would like to help, the Red Cross is one of the agencies taking donations. Call 1-800-RED-CROSS or click here.

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