By Rattus Norvegicus

The recent typhoon in the Philippines struck a little closer to home as the lives of several Algonquin students and faculty members were irrevocably changed by the destruction. In a bid to help them and the countless others affected, a bake sale was held on Nov. 25 at the college to raise relief funds.

Martin Taller, the professor and co-ordinator of the travel and tourism program, has traveled to that region before. When he heard the news of Typhoon Haiyan, he knew that he had to do something to help out.

“The tourism and hospitality sector is one of the hardest hit in the Philippines,” he said. “We thought we should stand tall and help out.”

Taller wanted to do something more than just donating money.

“By selling these donuts, it’s a way of engaging faculty, staff, and students.”

To prepare for the sale, five culinary students – Aaron Gadsby, Mikayla Hubble, Sarah Kemball, Carrie-lynn Macleod, & Dylen VanHeck – volunteered six hours of their time on Sunday to bake 153 packs of donuts.

Being a professor of the program, Taller was also able to enlist the help of his students to run the bake sale.

“It’s terrible,” said Lynn Brazeau, a first semester student in the program. “They are going to need help for a very long time to recover.”

Brazeau was asked by Taller to help with the sale. She was able to take time out of a busy schedule to run the display table.

“I don’t know tons about it,” said Kayla Scott, another Travel and Tourism student. “The whole place is destroyed. I’ve seen pictures – they’ll need a lot of help rebuilding.

The students stayed at the table from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., though the table was so popular that they were already expressing doubts about whether they would have enough donuts only ten minutes after officially opening.

“It’s a good way to get the school involved,” said Scott. “More people are likely to give money if they get something in return.”

Taller believes that it is important for the students and faculty to realize the human element of the tragedy.

“Just by luck, we’re here, they’re there.”

On Dec. 6, David Fraser of the Red Cross will visit the school to receive a check worth $735 that was raised through the bake sale.