Students pitch in to aid quake vicitms

June 27, 2008 3:59:54 PM PDT
They packed boxes of winter clothes today in the sweltering heat. The University of Pennsylvania Chinese Student and Scholar Association gathered in support of the victims of last month's earthquake in China. Many of these young people still have ties to their homeland.

"My family doesn't live in the earthquake zone," says student Yong Tang, "but I have visited there before. So as a Chinese, they are my fellow Chinese and I bet everyone here has the same emotion."

Peter Du still feels a connection to his homeland. "I've been out of china for quite some time. I still feel a close tie to it and I want to help out any way I can."

Half The Sky Foundation, which organized the drive, reached out to the community for donations of warm winter clothing. By the time these boxes in the affected Sichuan Province, it will be almost September.

Most of the 200 cartons of clothing are stuffed with winter gear, because the winters in the earthquake stricken region are especially brutal. The foundation's Paul Michele says the clothing will help quake victims survive the winter.

Members of the association say they're happy to lend a hand to the Chinese, or anyone in need of help. Yong Tang says, "My commitment would be if there's an emergency need, even for another country, we should be able to stand up and help as volunteers."

Du echoes that sentiment. "It's part of our humanitarian nature to give to those in need, and it should be regardless of race, ethnicity or nationality."