By Greg Hugh, Publisher, China InsightLess than two months ago a devastating earthquake struck the province of Sichuan in China and immediately the local Chinese community began fundraising to aid in the relief efforts. The fundraising included some of the activities covered in China Insight. Since there were so many events held by different organizations, businesses and individuals, not all events could be included in the paper. This tragic event instilled a sense of national unity among the Chinese community yet created a bit of friction as to how the funds would be earmarked for relief efforts.
The earthquake took the lives of over 80,000 people, many of them children, and caused much destruction which still continues with aftershocks and possible flooding. The rebuilding will continue for years. The fundraising efforts of individual organizations or businesses should not be undermined just because it does not meet a different goal that is preferred by others. There is, and will continue to be, the need for all kinds of fundraising such as for immediate relief, housing, rebuilding of schools and other infrastructure. Individuals must decide to which of these areas they wish to contribute, and support it accordingly. Being critical of a specific fundraising goal simply causes dissension and will impair the effort. The enthusiastic response to fundraising is admirable and the community needs to work together on a common goal. If there is a specific objective you feel is not being met, then by all means make that a goal you wish to support and get affiliated with an organization that shares your goal or set up a fundraising organization that will be focused on that goal. Arguing the merits of one cause over another is counterproductive. Instead, the energy that is spent on such disagreements can be redirected to constructive efforts to fundraising for different purposes with the common goal of helping earthquake victims. Because of the present economic situation and other worthwhile causes, it is already difficult to do fundraising, so to ensure successful earthquake fundraising, the local Chinese community needs to be respectful of and professional about the efforts of others or pursue their own objectives separately. It should also be noted that many American companies with many Chinese employees or a presence in China, have been very generous and have raised quite a bit of money and are doing so without criticism and the Chinese community should likewise be able to conduct themselves accordingly.