Siwei Qi remembers how he got the news. " Well, my professor called me that morning and I called my family and wife. After six to eight hours I get hold of them, " he recalled. Six hours of uncertainty. The SFA foreign exchange student didn't know if his loved ones were alive or dead. He could only hope the 200 mile distance they were from the epicenter would provide them protection.
Fortunately, Siwei's family is okay, but there were close calls. Siwei said, " I will tell you a story about my cousin. He's a taxi driver and it's the next day, the 13th of May when the earth aftershocks came and his taxi was almost turned over. "
Thousands of miles away, Siwei and other Chinese students have a connection to the earthquake. As they watch the devastation they want to help. Yue Wu said, " We still need money to rebuild their house, rebuild their city, rebuild, for relief, to help people." The first week a garage sale raised $700 for Half The Sky, a foundation nurturing china's orphaned children. Wu's twin brother, Chao said, " And we try to draw attention from everybody and we try to get help from everybody here. "
Another sale is planned for Friday and Saturday at the Chinese Student Association building, across from Grace Bible Church. There's also an Earthquake Relief Memorial on Sunday at Eugenia Sterne Park from four to five. Zhaoheng Luo said, " It's open to all the people in nacogdoches and we would love to see you there. " You can also get updates to relief accomplishments and needs at www.halfthesky.org .