NYC community rallies around Liu family

Updated: 2015-01-06 09:49

By AMY HE in New York(China Daily USA)

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NYC community rallies around Liu family

Widow Pei Xia Chen holds a photo of slain New York Police Department officer Wenjian Liu as his casket departs his funeral in the Brooklyn borough of New York January 4, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]

After the funeral for fallen police officer Wenjian Liu, the New York City community is still putting together efforts to help his family.

Several organizations across the city, in and outside of the Chinese community, have been gathering funds from those wishing to assist the Liu family in any way they can.

The Lung Kong Tien Yee Association of New York raised $4,100 to date for the Liu family, having begun accepting donations from the general public on Jan 3. The association will take public donations until Jan 18, after which the money will be given directly to the family during this time of hardship, according to Zhao Baizhao, secretary of the association.

The association gathered $3,415 for the family in the immediate aftermath of Liu's death, gathered from the association's members, and has since gotten about $700 more from the general public.

"We're going to keep raising for the family, and as much or as little we are able to gather, we'll be giving to the family for any financial needs they might be coming across," Zhao said.

Liu's father was a member of two years of the Lung Kong association, a 126-year-old organization with 600 members from the New York Chinese community, all of whom are descendants of the Liu, Guan, Zhang, and Zhao families.

"Right after we heard about the death, we set out to visit the family just so they know that they have our support," Zhao said.

He said that the association decided against giving the money to a foundation in Liu's name and to present the money directly to the family because they wanted the family to be able to use it immediately.

"Whether or not the sum we raise is big is less important than our desire to present the family with a token of our condolences," he said.

"It's so unfortunate that the family had to suffer through this. They only had one son. We can't even express how terrible this was, and we know that only time can heal something like this," Zhao said. "The Chinese community has to show unity during these difficult times, and we have to express care through our options, and to show that the family is not alone in this city."

The Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (CCBA), the oldest non-profit service organization of Chinatown, is also helming donations to the Liu family. So far, it has given $1,300 to the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation.

"It's an honor to be able to help out. We're doing what we can and we don't advertise, so anybody who wants to do something can come to us and drop off a donation," said Wan Yu Tam, secretary of the association. The $1,300 has come from local businesses and community members, Tam said.

The charity the CCBA gave the donations to is a 9/11 charity that is helping out the Liu family and Rafael Ramose' family with their mortgages. A representative for the Tunnel to Towers Foundation declined to speak on the record about how much the foundation has been able to fundraise, saying that the information will be made public this Wednesday.

The foundation set a fundraising goal of $800,000 to pay for the mortgages of the Liu and Ramos families, and according to CBS News, as of Jan 4, was $50,000 shy of the target.

The New York Daily News, the fourth most circulated newspaper in the US, has also launched a fund to raise money for the two families. People can donate electronically or directly to the Daily News Charities.