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UCR Helps in Tsunami Relief

UC Riverside Students, Staff and Faculty Pitch in to Tsunami Relief

Efforts Include Skipping Meals, Collecting Clothing and Benefit Performances

(January 12, 2005)

Relief in action in Sri LankaEnlarge

Relief in action in Sri Lanka

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( — UC Riverside students are skipping meals, putting on shows and collecting clothing to help the victims of the South Asian tsunami, while a staff member in Botany is working through his local Buddhist temple to help his homeland.

Chandra Ratnayake, a laboratory assistant in the Department of Botany and Plant Sciences, is reacting to tragedy in his homeland, and in his own family, by raising funds to send through his Buddhist temple to help the victims of this disaster.

The Sri Lankan community in the Riverside-Moreno Valley area has set up a tax-exempt relief fund account through Sambuddhaloka Buddhist Vihara, a nonprofit organization. More information about donating money can be found by visiting their website at:

“All monetary donations, large and small are greatly appreciated since this is the form of donation that can be sent quickly and easily to Sri Lanka for immediate use,” said Ratnayake, who lost a brother to the tsunami.

The Asian Student Programs Office is helping to organize student relief efforts, with a meeting held today, Jan. 12, in the group’s campus office in Costo Hall.

“We've invited all interested individuals and organizations to come together to share information about their relief efforts and I’ve had a strong response from student organizations,” said Joe Virata, director of Asian Student Programs. “Some have relief efforts in place already, others are looking for something to get involved with.”
Some of the efforts already underway:

• Skip - A - Meal campaign, organized by the Residence Halls, ASUCR student government and the California Public Interest Research Group. Participants will skip a meal and donate the money to relief efforts.
• Benefit Performance of Indian Dance. Anjali Varigonda & the Chinese American Alliance of Riverside will put on a benefit dance performance from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 15 at the Student Recreation Center Multipurpose Room A. A $2 donation at the door will go to relief efforts.
• Lambda Chi Alpha will set up a table to raise funds for the Red Cross in the Commons walkway.
• Kappa Kappa Gamma will organize a clothing drive
• The UCR Women’s Volleyball Team is setting up a donation table in front of the Bell Tower from January 18-21 from noon to 3 pm. They will also accept donations at Men’s Basketball game this Saturday.
• Kappa Kappa Gamma will organize a clothing drive
• The Muslim Student Union will be organizing an early February benefit for the Islamic Relief Fund to support their Tsunami Relief work.
• Pi Delta Psi Fraternity is planning a benefit Pool Tournament to raise funds for the relief effort.
• A Book of Condolences will be available in the Commons for members of the UCR community to sign and send to the Consular offices of each of the affected nations. This effort is being led by the International Services Office and the Office of the Commons.

UC Riverside also has a Website that lists ways for people affected emotionally to get help through the UCR Counseling Center. It’s at

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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