Hamline China Club members from left, Sian Yang, Jeremy Tan, Ke Gao, Bobbie Bruntjen, Lijun Dong, and Miho Takahashi.
ST. PAUL (April 12, 2011) – The Hamline University China Club is conducting a fundraiser to support the victims of the Japan earthquake and tsunami. Their goal is to raise $1 or more from each Hamline students, staff and faculty member.
China Club members started their campaign on April 11th and hoped to complete their goal by April 17th. They are placing donation boxes throughout the campus and setting up tables Sorin Hall, the Bush Student Center, and the Giddens Learning Center.
President Qiuchi “Angela” Zhou said that all funds raised from this campaign will be directed toward helping relief efforts in Japan and other earthquake areas by donating the money to organizations such as Save the Children and Japan Red Cross Society.
The Hamline China Club just formed this semester, with 12 board members and about 30 or more other members that are from China, Vietnam, America, Korea and Singapore. Many members are students of Chinese language at Hamline and interested in the culture. The club is a way to interact and learn from the Chinese students at Hamline.
“This is our first event and it is going to be a good start for our organization,” said Zhou. “We got support from President Hanson and Chairs of different departments as well.”
Although China has responded to the Japan crisis with compassion and support, it may be that relations between the two countries is lukewarm at best. This prompts questions about the students and their motivation for taking on the relief project.
Hamline does not have a Japan Club. But Zhou said there is at least one Japanese student working on the campaign. She also noted this project is an opportunity to do something to promote Chinese culture and at the same time focus on how to improve the relationship between China and Japan.
“We choose to put the history aside and focus on the present,” said Zhou. “Since we can not change the history, what we can do is to use the present to change the future, to improve the future relationship between China and Japan.
“When I saw the videos about the earthquake and Japan, it reminded me of the earthquake in China back in year 2008,” she added. “At that time, China got a lot of help from overseas. It’s the time for us to help others. When facing natural disaster, our human beings are all the same. We should work together to help our friends.”
“There is nothing to do with the economics,” said Jian Zhang, student member. “Frankly, I just want to help those who suffer from the disaster and by doing this, we can advocate our club and call on everybody to do something helpful.”
“At the heart of this initiative is that whenever there is death, destruction and suffering, it is a time for people to bond together and support each other and that is what we are doing here,” said Bobbie Bruntjen.
The China Club will host a Donor Thank You Dinner Tuesday, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. For more information email [email protected].
There is also a Face Book page at http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_156461081081818&ap=1.