Com­mu­ni­ties sup­port quake relief

China Daily (Canada) - - ACROSSAMERICA - By El­iz­a­beth Wu in New York and Liu Chang in Wash­ing­ton

Mem­bers of the Chi­nese com­mu­nity in the US have stepped up to help vic­tims and re­build dam­aged ar­eas af­ter a se­vere earthquake struck South­west China’s Yun­nan province ear­lier this month.

At the of­fice of the Chi­nese Con­sulate Gen­eral in New York on Thurs­day, 24 Chi­nese or­ga­ni­za­tions, one com­pany and two in­di­vid­u­als do­nated nearly $240,000 to the relief ef­fort.

Sun Guox­i­ang, Chi­nese Con­sul Gen­eral in New York, said to the rep­re­sen­ta­tives of donors: “You have all used your ac­tions to prove the tra­di­tional qual­i­ties of the Chi­nese in car­ing for our own peo­ple….When your coun­try needs you, when peo­ple hit by dis­as­ter need you, you’ve all been the first to of­fer help and sup­port.”

Sun said what hap­pened in Yun­nan is very un­lucky, but the peo­ple in Yun­nan are lucky to have an ex­pan­sive Chi­nese fam­ily.

The 6.5-mag­ni­tude earthquake on Aug 3, the strong­est to hit the moun­tain­ous province in 14 years, left 617 peo­ple dead and more than 3,000 in­jured. More than 12,000 houses col­lapsed and 30,000 were dam­aged. The epi­cen­ter oc­curred at Long­toushan town­ship, 23 kilo­me­ters south­west of the Lu­dian county.

Cheng Lip­ing, pres­i­dent of the Shang­hai As­so­ci­a­tion of Amer­ica, said: “Un­der these cir­cum­stances, we need to join to­gether to help the peo­ple in Yun­nan re­cover faster from the dis­as­ter and re­turn to a peace­ful life.”

Jack Chen, pres­i­dent of the Shaox­ing As­so­ci­a­tion of Amer­ica, which do­nated $40,000, said: “We hope for a speedy re­cov­ery for the peo­ple in Yun­nan.”

Mean­while in Gaithersburg, Mary­land, nearly $3,000 was col­lected in a small box at the Chi­nese Cul­ture and Com­mu­nity Ser­vice Cen­ter (CCACC) in just three days, as do­na­tions to­wards relief ef­forts in earthquake-stricken ar­eas of China’s Yun­nan province.

What makes these do­na­tions spe­cial is the age of the donors, who sat in the CCACC con­fer­ence room on Thurs­day, their gray hair shim­mer­ing in the bright light.

Ac­cord­ing to Li­fang Liu, deputy ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor of CCACC, about 300 se­nior cit­i­zens vol­un­teered to do­nate money af­ter the earthquake took place.

“At their re­quest, we made a small box where they could put their do­na­tions — and love,” said Liu, adding that these se­niors were from or­di­nary fam­i­lies and ev­ery amount put into the box, no mat­ter how small, meant a lot.

“We feel for the peo­ple in the quake-stricken ar­eas. We feel the same pain and loss,” said Tongjian­ling Li, one of the se­niors. “Even though we are far away across an ocean, our hearts are still closely con­nected with theirs. The amount of money is not great; it is but a small wish from the bot­tom of our heart.”

“Our soldiers are on the front lines of res­cue ef­forts. The whole na­tion is of­fer­ing all forms of help to the dis­as­ter re­gion. Our com­pa­tri­ots over­seas are con­nected with the vic­tims in Yun­nan province too,” Zhang Yi, coun­selor and deputy con­sul gen­eral at the Chi­nese Em­bassy to the US in Wash­ing­ton, told the group.

“I be­lieve all the love pour­ing from our hearts will blow a warm breeze on­shore to the quake-plagued ar­eas. Ev­ery do­na­tion will help our com­pa­tri­ots re­build their home gar­dens,” Zhang said.

On be­half of the Chi­nese em­bassy, Zhang pre­sented a let­ter of grat­i­tude to the CCACC, guar­an­tee­ing to the se­niors seated in the con­fer­ence room that the em­bassy would send their do­na­tions to the dis­as­ter area and see that they were put to use where they were needed most. Con­tact the writ­ers at read­ers@chi­nadaily.com.cn and changliu@chi­nadai­lyusa. com

EL­IZ­A­BETH WU / FOR CHINA DAILY

Chi­nese Con­sul Gen­eral in New York Sun Guox­i­ang (fourth from right) and rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the Hainan Club of New Yorkona­tion take a photo at the Con­sulate Gen­eral of China on Thurs­day. Twenty-four or­ga­ni­za­tions and com­pa­nies do­nated nearly $240,000 to aid Yun­nan earthquake relief ef­forts.

LIU CHANG / CHINA DAILY

Se­nior cit­i­zen rep­re­sen­ta­tives of CCACC present a check for $2,974.20 to Zhang Yi (cen­ter), coun­selor and deputy con­sul gen­eral of the Chi­nese Em­bassy to the US, as a do­na­tion to quake relief ef­forts in Yun­nan province on Thurs­day in Gaithersburg, Mary­land. From left: Meng Fang, first sec­re­tary con­sul of China em­bassy; Guangye Ruan; Tongjian­ling Li; Zhang; Houtang Chen; Li­fang Liu, deputy ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor of CCACC; Ned Li, direc­tor of CCACC’s adult day health­care cen­ter.

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