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Archive for Friday, May 23, 2008

Residents moved by earthquake put on fundraiser

May 23, 2008

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How to help

Volunteers are needed to collect funds for the Red Cross of China at various Lawrence locations from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Those wishing to volunteer can attend a meeting at 7 p.m. Friday in the parking lot of Holcom Park Recreation Center, 2700 W. 27th St. For more information, contact organizer Ray Chao, 550-9067.

Kansas University student Yingjie Li calls her family in China and hears stories of displaced children whose parents are missing or dead.

She gets updates on how the 7.9-magnitude earthquake cracked the seven-story building in Dujiangyan she once shared with her parents, the home that is now unsafe to return to.

"The house is gone," she said, "but they're fine. That's the most important thing."

Li, a graduate student, is among the volunteers expected to participate in a communitywide fundraiser this weekend to aid those devastated by the quake in China's Sichuan province.

Longtime Lawrence resident Ray Chao, a member of the city's Human Relations Commission, is organizing the fundraiser with the assistance of Douglas County Red Cross.

Volunteers will collect monetary donations at several locations across town from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. All funds will be forwarded to Red Cross of China, Chao said. The volunteers will be posted at the intersections of Massachusetts and Seventh, Eighth, Ninth and 10th streets downtown as well as near retail stores in the community.

"Hopefully, we can make a little difference," Chao said.

Li, who recently received her graduate degree from KU and will work toward her doctoral degree here, plans on returning to China on a preplanned visit this summer.

Her parents live with her grandparents in a nearby area. Li said she hopes to assist the children and others in any way she can.

"There is nothing you can do right now except go and help those who need more help than us," she said.

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