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Angelenos Send Aid to Victims in Tijuana


Los Angeles Latinos donated thousands of dollars and tons of food and clothing to the victims of Tijuana's January floods.

Rainstorms and flooding left more than 30 people dead and up to 10,000 homeless. The city's roadways, water delivery and drainage systems were left a shambles.

Churches throughout the Los Angels area collected truckloads of items and sent them to Mexico. Resurrection Church in East Los Angeles, for example, collected about 100 tons of food, clothing, medicine, water and building supplies, Father John Moretta said.

"We're sending it directly to the bishop of Tijuana and they're getting it out to the colonias ," Moretta said. "I have confianza that it's getting to the people that need it."

Parishioners also came up with ways to donate their talents in the effort, he said. For example, three nurses spent three days treating victims and another parishioner helped organize a comedy event that raised $1,200 for food and medicine, Moretta said.

Organizers are planning another event to raise money for medicine, said organizer Rudy Tellez, president of the Alhambra Boxing Club and Youth Leadership Program.

The lineup for "Operation Tijuana" will include mariachi, rhythm and blues, and hip-hop music, as well as comedians, Tellez said.

"Our main concern is the kids," Tellez said, adding that the youths at his club have taken up the cause of collecting for the Tijuana victims.

"That's their obligation. We try to make them responsible," he said.

At Casa del Mexicano, truckloads of food, clothing, powdered milk, disposable diapers, medicine and juice went out regularly during January. The organization's four large trucks, trailer and van made many trips to the border city, administrator Antonio E. Montes said.

A half-hour telethon broadcast by KMEX on Jan. 15 raised $22,162 in pledges that will go to the American Red Cross, said Red Cross spokeswoman Pamela Corante. Most of the money was designated for medical help, she said.

The Los Angeles and San Diego chapters of the Red Cross worked with the Mexican Red Cross to deliver the donations, Corante said.

The American Red Cross, Los Angeles chapter, is accepting monetary donations only. Sent contributions to 2700 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, 90057. (213) 739-5200, or contact your local Red Cross chapter.

Church of the Resurrection, 3324 E. Opal St., Los Angeles (213) 268-1141

Casa del Mexicano, 2900 Calle Pedro Infante, is collecting items to deliver as they fill their trucks. They ask for no more clothing. (213) 267-8527

The Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles is collecting items at Loyola Marymount University, Hannon Lot, 7101 W. 80th St., between Sepulveda and Lincoln boulevards. Monetary donations may be sent to the Hispanic Ministries, 1530 W. 9th St., Los Angeles, CA 90015. (310) 338-2860

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