Fundraiser for earthquake survivors garners more than $165,000

“A Call for Humanity” focuses on Turkey and Syria relief

A Feb. 19 fundraiser – “A Call for Humanity” – for survivors of the Turkey and Syria earthquakes proved a success, according to Dr. Kavita Khajuria and Claremont School of Theology board member Dr. Nitin Shah, who also serves on the board of the host organization Anekant Community Center (ACC).

“Manubhai and Rikaben Shah of MSI Charitable Trust offered a challenge to match up to $25,000 if we could raise that amount by the night of the fundraiser,” Khajuria and Shah said. “We collected [an] additional $27,771, and donations are still coming. So far, we have raised $165,522.”

“This was possible,” they continued, “with additional contributions from the Wadher Family Foundation, the Aparigrah Foundation and $5,000 each from Ashok and Madhu Patel of Dallas, Dr. Bharat Patel, Dr. Shubha and Dr. Sanjiv Jain and Chimanbhai Patel, and $2,500 from Dr. Anil and Priti Shah and many others.”

During the event at the Sanatan Dharma Temple in Norwalk, California, participants observed a minute of silence for the more than 46,000 people who lost their lives.

Hassan Twiet, a teacher of Syrian heritage, discussed the concept of humanity. Shrenik Shah showed an informational PowerPoint with photos, CNN images and NBC news coverage. The presentation, prepared by Sneha Anand, included a video illustrating the impact of the MSI Charitable Trust in the community. ACC contributed $5,000 to Sight and Sketches, a local nonprofit that assists with transporting survivors to safety and food. The Tender Care Community Outreach Program of ACC also donated 130 sleeping bags.

Fundraiser organizers surpassed their goal to raise more than $111,000. Major donors included the Tarsadia Foundation ($51,000), the MSI Charitable Trust ($25,000), an anonymous gift from Atlanta ($17,000) and the Wadher Family Foundation ($5,000). The Honorable Consul General Sinan Kuzum of the Turkey Consulate in Los Angeles sent a message of appreciation.

“We are working with Diwaliben Trust in India,” Khajuria and Shah said, “to put together a consignment of medicines, and MSI is helping to transport them from Mumbai to Turkey. TCCOPACC is working to send more supplies. Bidada Sarvodaya Trust is helping to provide prostheses for survivors.”