DECATUR — Two Decatur residents with ties to the Philippines are looking for ways to help the region battered by deadly Typhoon Haiyan.

One of the strongest typhoons on record struck the central Philippines a week ago, leaving thousands dead. Mark Munoz and Tess Leckrone say their family members in the Philippines are safe, but they want to do something to help the victims.

Munoz, a professor of international business at Millikin University, said he is partnering with a Chicago-based nonprofit organization called Watts of Love. It seeks to provide solar-powered lights and cellphone chargers to the region.

“My understanding is that it’ll take months before some of the electricity is going to get back,” Munoz said. “Right now, I know that food and water is being mobilized and some medicines, but I think that families, if they don’t have access to light at night, they’ll be very miserable.”

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Leckrone is the owner of Artistic Cosmetics, 3260 N. Charles St.

On Tuesdays in December, Leckrone said, she will offer discounted haircuts and donate the proceeds to her church’s Philippines relief efforts.

“All the money is going to go to the Philippines relief. I won’t see any money for myself,” she said.

Leckrone said payment must be in the form of checks written to Sts. James and Patrick Parish, with “Philippines relief” in the memo line. Women’s cuts will be $15, men’s $10 and children’s $7.

Leckrone said anyone making one of the Tuesday appointments should mention the Philippines relief effort. Call (217) 877-7790 to schedule an appointment.

The Salvation Army and American Red Cross also are accepting monetary donations.

“One hundred percent of the money we collect for disasters goes directly to the program. We take nothing out for overhead,” said Dave MacDonna, director of development and community relations for The Salvation Army.

To donate to the Salvation Army, visit, call 1-800-725-2769, text TYPHOON to 80888 or mail donations to Salvation Army World Service Office International Relief Fund, Box 418558, Boston, MA 02241-8558.

MacDonna said residents also can drop off donations at the local Salvation Army office, 229 W. Main St.

To donate to the Red Cross, visit, call 1-800-733-27677 or mail donations to the Mid-Illinois Chapter of the American Red Cross, 2674 N. Main St., Decatur IL, 62526.

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