Members of the Chinese Community United Methodist Church in Oakland took to the streets of Chinatown, May 1st and 2nd, to raise funds for victims of the 7.1 magnitude earthquake which struck the Southern Qinghai province of China on April 14. The quake claimed 2,220 lives, injured more than 11,000 other people, and did extensive damage.
The church mounted the fundraising event in partnership with the American Red Cross, which opened its Emergency Response Vehicle for public viewing. The church's choir performed while other members solicited donations on the streets – and the community responded with enthusiasm.
"We are extremely touched by the outpouring of public support and monetary [support] for the China earthquake relief effort," said CCUMC senior pastor, the Rev. Peter Lau. "The seven donation canisters were filled on the first day of our outreach efforts and we had to ask the Red Cross to send us seven additional canisters for our subsequent relief efforts the next day."
The 14 canisters generated $5,149.67 for the American Red Cross. In addition, three donors directed CCUMC to forward their donations – which totaled $3,300 – to the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR).