For many in the Western Hemisphere, the magnitude 7.9 quake which struck China on May 12 was just another piece of bad news from somewhere on the other side of the world; but for Barton, the quake hit home.
Two days after the disaster, Dr. Zhixiong Cai, professor of mathematics at Barton College, emailed the campus community: “My home city, Chengdu, is just 60 miles from the epicenter, Wenchuan. After two days of trying, I was able to talk to my two brothers in Chengdu. They are all safe, but according to them Dujiangyan, a city where three Barton groups visited in the past few years, suffered great losses.”
According to the information Cai received at that time, over 14,000 had died, nearly 26,000 were still buried beneath the rubble, and over 65,000 individuals suffered injuries. The structural damage was also substantial with more than 4.5 million homes suffering damage and 125,000 buildings having completely collapsed.
Immediately, Barton created a charity account to aid in the rebuilding efforts in Dujiangyan. Cai said the money, earmarked for the rebuilding of a school, will be sent to the Chinese Red Cross account established by the Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C.
On May 30, Cai once again emailed the Barton campus thanking everyone who had donated and informing readers that the original May 30 deadline for donations had been extended to June 10. As of May 29, “we’ve received donations of $5645.71!” said Cai.
Cai also said that he had spoken with Deputy Major Liao of Dujiangyan. “On hearing of the Barton fundraiser, Ms. Liao expressed her deepest appreciation” for Barton’s help and “invited all to visit in the future.”
Thanks to everyone who has participated in this effort! For those who have not contributed yet or those who would like to contribute more, you may make your check payable to:
China Earthquake Relief
P.O. Box 5000
Wilson, N.C. 27893
Questions? Please contact Ken Dozier, web services manager at Barton College, at 252.399.6596 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.