A 20-year-old woman has raised thousands of pounds to help those made homeless by tycoon Haiyan in the Phillipines – including members of her family.
Kirsty Creasy, of Mildenhall, said she was overwhelmed by the generosity of those who sponsored her to have her long hair shaved off on Monday.
She said: “I started to cry when I sat down because I was so overwhelmed by the amount of support from everybody I knew.
“People’s generosity – I can’t explain how much it means to me.”
Kirsty has family who live in a rural coastal area close to Ormoc in the province of Leyte, which was hardest hit by the tycoon.
It was not until three days after Haiyan struck on November 8 that a cousin was able to make contact with Kirsty and her family through Facebook.
Kirsty said: “The village was very badly damaged, a lot of the houses were damaged and destroyed and the food stalls were getting low in supplies because the roads were blocked.
“It was devastating. I did not know what to do.
“I know the people and I know the village and just seeing the devastation that the typhoon caused.
“We are half way around the world I did not know what I could do to help.”
A colleague of Kirsty’s at R.P Valves, in Mildenhall, suggested she shave her head to support the aid effort.
The head shave took place at the Riverside Hotel in the town on Monday when supporters watched as Kirsty’s hair was cut off.
Colleagues, family, friends, and members of Mildenhall Town Football Club, where Kirsty volunteers, helped to raise more than £2,000.
She said: “To be able to help the people back home where my family is from – I cannot explain how much it will mean to them.”
Kirsty visits the Philippines regularly and will travel to Leyte in Febuary to see how the money has been spent.
The funds raised will go towards building materials as the community works to reconstruct homes and businesses.
This will not be Kirsty’s final fund-raiser as she is already planning a half-marathon and a cupcake sale at Mildenhall Town Football Club.
She also intends to donate the hair cut off to The Little Princess Trust, which provide wigs to children suffering from hair loss.
To make a donation go to http://www.gofundme.com/59ycbw