Isles’ Chinese churches raising support for victims
Yaying Liu said God had a hand in saving her brother and sister-in-law from the earthquake that has killed at least 15,000 people in Sichuan province, China.
How to Help
The American Red Cross is among the organizations accepting donations for victims of the Chinese earthquake.
Call (800) RED CROSS or 739-8109 in Hawaii to donate or get more information. Contributions can be made online at www.redcross.org or sent to the Hawaii State Chapter at 4155 Diamond Head Road, Honolulu, HI 96816.
Specify that your contribution should go to a specific disaster fund.
Inquiries concerning U.S. citizens living or traveling in China should be referred to the U.S. Department of State, Office of Overseas Citizens Services at (888) 407-4747 or (202) 647-5225. At this time, the Red Cross is not accepting any Family Reunification requests because all of the China Red Cross' resources are engaged in providing emergency relief assistance.
About 30 parishioners gathered for a prayer meeting at the Chinese Lutheran Church of Honolulu in Liliha last night and listened to Liu recount the story. Members collected monetary donations to assist in the relief work.
Liu, 42, of Honolulu and formerly of Sichuan, said her older brother manages a hotel in a resort atop a mountain less than 10 miles from Wenchuan, near the epicenter. He left with his wife at 1 p.m. Sunday to pick up their parents, who had arrived at the airport after visiting Liu in Hawaii.
As they drove, the earthquake struck between 2:30 and 2:40 p.m.
"They were shocked," Liu said, adding that her brother stopped his car in the middle of the roadway.
While a younger brother went to pick up their parents, her older brother wanted to check on the five staff members remaining at the hotel, which did not have any guests at the time.
As they drove back, they saw the devastation. Liu talked to her brother and sister-in-law, who related what it was like: "It's so horrible. The houses, the buildings, when they go back, they see so many falling down — the hotels on the mountain."
The army went up the following day and found all five staff members of the hotel alive, with only minor injuries.
"So fortunate," Liu said. One man had come down from the mountain and related, "So many hotels all falling down," she said.
Liu said God protected her brother and sister-in-law from harm. "Praise God," Liu said.
Other Chinese churches and organizations are getting organized to raise money to support earthquake relief efforts.
Aming Tan, vice president of the Hawaii Mainland Chinese Overseas Association, said his group plans to collect money at the Chinese Cultural Plaza this weekend. Tan is working with other Hawaii groups raising money including the University of Hawaii Chinese Student and Scholar Association and the China Tea Club, a group of senior citizens.
Jian Ma, of the UH student association, said he put out an e-mail Monday asking members of the association to help out and had collected about $2,000 by yesterday afternoon.
China Tea Club raised about $600 yesterday for earthquake victims. They plan on meeting again today and tomorrow to collect more money from its members, some of whom have family in the disaster-struck areas.
The Chinese Buddhist Association also plans to raise money for families in China and in Myanmar. They will hold a private memorial service at 1 p.m. Sunday at its temple, located at 42 Kawananakoa Place in Nuuanu, to pray for world peace. The public is invited to another memorial service from 1 to 5:30 p.m. May 22.
Star-Bulletin reporter Laurie Au contributed to this report.