South Shore man raises money to help struggling families in the Philippines

QUINCY, Mass. — Harold Mortel was born in the Philippines and moved to Quincy when he was 10 years old, but he has never forgotten where he came from.

Mortel still has a lot of relatives and friends back in the Philippines and said many of them are struggling and are in desperate need of help.

“It’s hard for them to even just survive on a daily basis,” he said.

The Philippines has been hit especially hard with Covid and unlike many other countries, they’ve decided to close schools for another year to contain the pandemic.

To help out, Mortel holds fundraisers, including basketball tournaments and table tennis tournaments, with every penny going to the Philippines. And the money goes a long way. One of Mortel’s recent fundraisers helped feed 500 families.

“They will buy bags of rice or eggs or canned goods and they will split it among other families,” he said.

Mortel, who has worked in the cancer center at Mass General for 15 years, said seeing the Filipinos thanking the people of Boston who have been so generous, really touches his heart.

“It’s very appreciative seeing stuff like that is priceless to see and this is why I do what I do,” he said.

Mortel said his next planned fundraiser is a basketball tournament in November. Filipino teams from as far as Washington, D.C and Montreal are participating.

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