Communities support quake relief

Updated: 2014-08-15 12:11

By Elizabeth Wu in New York and Liu Chang in Washington(China Daily USA)

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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.

Communities support quake relief

"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.

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 Communities support quake relief

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. Elizabeth Wu / for China Daily

 Communities support quake relief

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. Liu Chang / China Daily

(China Daily USA 08/15/2014 page2)