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San Diegans host donation drives for relatives in Tonga affected by the volcanic eruption

Posted at 6:01 AM, Jan 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-26 09:01:22-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — As the world slowly starts to see images of the destruction left behind by an underwater volcanic eruption in Tonga, San Diegans with relatives on the island are collecting donations to help rebuild.

Some haven’t heard from their loved ones since the eruption.

Siona Thompson had the idea for a donation drive with her siblings and she organized it with the help of one of her teachers. People have been dropping off donations at her work, Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream in Carlsbad

She's heard from her family on the main island in Tonga, but she hasn't been able to communicate with relatives on smaller islands.

On Sunday, there is a separate fundraiser organized by Rawmana heritage, they're also collecting items to ship out. They’re accepting things like toiletries, blankets, clothing, nonperishable food items, and even monetary donations.

Ida Veimau is one of the organizers. Like Siona, she has heard from some relatives on the main island, but her mom's side of the family has gone silent since the eruption. She’s hoping to hear from them soon.

If you’d like to donate to the fundraiser at Handel’s in Carlsbad, you can do so on Wednesday during their regular business hours.

The fundraiser on Sunday, Jan. 30, is at the Rawmana Playground located at 4237 Balboa Avenue. There will be food and drink vendors and cash donations are also accepted.