Spirits were high at Woodley Park in Van Nuys Sunday morning, where the walk kicked off with about 300 people. But the cause is a serious one to those who showed up. Participants either have a family member or know someone affected by the typhoon, which appears to be the deadliest on record.
"I was crying the whole night, so upset about the disaster," said Cynthia Diamante, a participant.
An estimated 10,000 people in one Philippine town alone are feared dead. Officials think the death toll could climb even higher when emergency crews reach areas cut off by flooding and landslides.
Techie Emperador with the Philippine Disaster Relief Organization (PeDRO) said people at Sunday's walk were there to help with relief efforts after a 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck the region last month, in addition to Typhoon Haiyan, which is also being called Yolanda.
Emperador said the organization put on the race in conjunction with the Renew our Minds and Heart Foundation (ROHMA). Planning for the race began three months ago, according to PeDRO president Bing De la Vega, but donations and foreign aid are critical now more than ever.
All of the money raised at the walk will be given to the Philippine Consulate to be sent overseas. Several Filipino churches in Southern California are collecting money, food and clothes for victims.
"I can't control myself but to cry. To hear that you need water, you need food supplies. It's really disheartening," said Archerie Talunod with PeDRO.
The charity walk lasted about an hour. Thousands of dollars were raised, but participants know more needs to be done.
"The minimum thing I can do for now but really want to let them know that we're in this together," said Diamante.
The typhoon made landfall in northern Vietnam after crossing the South China Sea, according to the Hong Kong meteorological observatory. Hundreds of thousands of people have been evacuated.
The Associated Press and City News Service contributed to this report.