‘Silicon Valley for Nepal’ fundraiser Friday to help thousands of quake victims

SAN JOSE (BCN) — Elected officials gathered outside San Jose City Hall Friday inviting the community to a Friday evening fundraiser for victims of two catastrophic earthquakes in Nepal.

The South Asian country was impacted by a magnitude 7.8 earthquake on April 25, followed by a magnitude 7.3 temblor that shook on May 12. There have also been numerous aftershocks.

The quake has killed more than 8,300 people, injured nearly 18,000 people and either damaged or destroyed more than 800,000 homes, according to the American Red Cross.

An estimated 3.5 million people need food, according to the Red Cross.

San Jose City Councilman Kalra said the impact of the earthquakes was “10 times more devastating” than the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake that struck the Bay Area.

The “Silicon Valley for Nepal” benefit is scheduled for Friday from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Seven Trees Community Center at 3590 Cas Drive in San Jose. All proceeds from the event will be sent to the Red Cross to aid earthquake victims.

The event is being held in District 7, which is represented by City Councilman Tam Nguyen. He shared a personal experience of being on the receiving end of rescue efforts.

In 1964, Nguyen was a victim of a flood that struck his home village in Vietnam and he received help from the Red Cross. He fondly remembers a picture of a handshake attached to emergency supplies he and his family received.

“It’s our chance now to extend that hand up in friendship and support to the people in Nepal,” Kalra said.

The event is being held in partnership with Santa Clara County. Supervisor Dave Cortese said organizers “would be extremely disappointed if (they) didn’t see everyday citizens” at the event.

Samundra Karki, founder of the Nepali Student Organization at San Jose State University, said he has parents, sister and relatives in Nepal. It has been difficult seeing the images of the devastation, but he is trying his best to help them and other victims of the quakes.

He knows students at SJSU with family impacted by the disaster. One of his friends has 14 family members in Nepal now without a home, Karki said. He left Nepal in 2010 and has lived in the Bay Area for the past three years. He plans to go back to his home country in December to help in relief efforts.

“A small donation will bring a big smile to the face of the children and people in Nepal,” Karki said.

Friday’s fundraiser will include food trucks, a silent auction, cultural performances and special guests including singers Victoria McDonell and Angela Tirado. Donations for the city and county effort can also be made online at http://www.redcross.org/cm/sanjose-emp.

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