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Originally published Friday, May 16, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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Region's ties to China spur donations

Yingjia Hu, an acupuncturist in Mountlake Terrace, talks of her relatives' home in Sichuan province, flattened by the 7. 9-magnitude earthquake that struck...

Seattle Times staff reporter

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How to help

Church World Service: Supporting China-based Amity Foundation in providing emergency relief and rebuilding assistance. Donate via www.churchworldservice.org or 800-297-1516 or P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN, 46515. Please designate: Appeal # 699-B, 2008 China Earthquake Response.

Mercy Corps: Providing emergency relief. Donate via www.mercycorps.org, 800-852-2100 or China Earthquake Fund, Dept. NR, P.O. Box 2669, Portland, OR 97208.

Northwest Chinese School: Holding fundraisers Saturday at its two campuses. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., 11605 132nd Ave. N.E., Kirkland; and 12:30 to 3:30 p.m., 2101 S. Jackson St., Seattle. Donations also accepted via Cathy Bank (payee title: NWCS, Sichuan Province Relief Fund, account #83001530), or mail check to: Northwest Chinese School, Sichuan Province Relief Fund, 515 116th Ave. N.E., Suite 228, Bellevue, WA 98004. Information: 206-422-8476.

Operation USA: Planning to assist in reconstruction of schools and clinics. Donate via www.opusa.org, 800-678-7255 or 3617 Hayden Ave., Suite A, Culver City, CA 90232.

Red Cross: Providing emergency relief. Donate to Red Cross International Relief Fund via www.seattleredcross.org or www.redcross.org or American Red Cross International Response Fund, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, D.C. 20013.

Seattle-Chongqing Sister City Association: Raising funds to donate to Red Cross of China. Checks are payable to Sichuan Earthquake Relief; mail to SCSCA, P.O. Box 85032, Seattle, WA 98145.

University of Washington Chinese Students and Scholars Association: Raising funds to donate to China Red Cross Foundation. Holding candlelight fundraising vigil, 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, UW Red Square. Funds will go to China Red Cross Foundation. Donate via https:// catalysttools.washington. edu/gopost/conversation/ cssa/106517, or mail check to: Dawei Liu, Box 352120, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195.

World Vision: Providing emergency relief. Donate via www.worldvision.org, 888-56-CHILD, or P.O. Box 9716, Federal Way, WA 98063-9716.

Seattle Times staff

Yingjia Hu, an acupuncturist in Mountlake Terrace, talks of her relatives' home in Sichuan province, flattened by the 7.9-magnitude earthquake that struck west central China Monday.

Her cousin's father-in-law died there, her relatives believe. They haven't been able to find his body in the rubble.

Hu has sent them money, but doesn't know what else to do. "They lost everything," she said.

Among the 2,500 members of Chinese Microsoft Employees, the e-mails this week became almost nonstop: what the latest news was, who was able to reach relatives, what they could do to help.

The Puget Sound area's ties to China run deep and wide, reflected this week in a flurry of donations and planned fundraisers.

"There are so many different people and organizations — individuals, government agencies, businesses — trying to do something," said Jimmy Chen, a Puyallup businessman who co-chairs the Washington-Sichuan Province Friendship Association.

Boeing has made an initial contribution of $250,000 and will match employee donations to the American Red Cross, according to the Washington, D.C.-based U.S.-China Business Council.

Microsoft is making an initial donation of $143,000 to the Red Cross Society of China and said its China subsidiary is contacting local response organizations to identify areas where its technology can help.

Microsoft is also using its local Chinese home pages on Microsoft.com and MSN.com to publicize ways users can donate to more than 40 organizations providing assistance. The company said it would also match contributions from its China- and U.S.-based employees.

On Wednesday night, some three dozen people, representing about 15 China-related groups, gathered in Bellevue to form Washington Sichuan Earthquake Relief.

The organization wants to "express to Chinese earthquake victims that overseas Chinese in Washington state are behind them," said Dennis T. Su, a group member and president of China Tomorrow Education Foundation, which builds and improves schools in rural China.

The group also has long-term goals.

Disaster relief is being handled by the Chinese government and relief organizations, the members say. So their organization is instead planning to identify and help rebuild one or more hospitals or schools destroyed in the quake.

It's a good way to "tighten the relationship between the Chinese people and the American people," said Chen of the Friendship Association. The state will be able to send delegations and donors there, let them see: "This is what our donors built. I can feel the stone. This is my help to China."

Since 1982, Seattle has had a sister city relationship with Chongqing, a city in Sichuan province affected by the quake. The Seattle-Chongqing Sister City Association has established an earthquake relief fund with money to go to Red Cross of China.

At the University of Washington, the Chinese Students and Scholars Association and the Chinese Student Association plan to hold a candlelight vigil Tuesday, with donations also going to Red Cross. .

"There are many people here with ties with China," said Ruolan Liu, a CSSA vice president. "The least we can do is to help raise funds to rebuild their homes."

Hu, the acupuncturist from Mountlake Terrace, is hearing about such losses firsthand. Her relatives' home in Dujiangyan, a city near the quake's epicenter, was destroyed.

Hu's cousin's father-in-law was sleeping when the earthquake struck and their house collapsed. Afterward, Hu's relatives "tried to dig, but they had no tools. They couldn't dig to find him."

Her relatives are living in their car for now. They are grateful for what the government is doing. But they still have no electricity, water or gas, she said.

"I don't know where to start to help them," Hu said. "They have to start over, have to buy everything from scratch. Everything they have is destroyed."

Janet I. Tu: 206-464-2272 or jtu@seattletimes.com. Staff reporter Kristi Heim contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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