Blood Drive for Victims of Sept 11 tragedy

In the true spirit of giving and sharing, Indo-Americans donated blood at M. D. Anderson on September 15, 2001.  The Indo-American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Houston (IACCGH) sponsored this blood drive with generous contributions from the Indo-American Charity foundation and Dishaka Imports Inc.  There was overwhelming response from the community and close to forty units were collected in a few short hours.  Those who did not meet the eligibility requirements showed their support by donating money to I-FOCUS (Indians for our country United States). The goal of I-Focus is to collect $500,000 by next month to help with the recovery effort of the WTC and the Pentagon bombing. IACCGH has contacted most Indo-American Organizations of Greater Houston to work in unison to collectively raise funds for the victims of the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, DC. The total amount collected will be announced on October 11, 2001.

We are encouraging all people of Indian origin and friends to give generously to any organizations of their choice. Please, send your checks to the IACCGH office with the message on your check as I-FOCUS. IACCGH will hand over these checks collectively on Oct. 11, 2001 along with all other funds collected by other organizations.

The Indo-American Charity foundation is hosting its Gala night on Saturday the 22nd and part of the proceeds will be part of the I-Focus contribution. Hari Dayal, President of Indo-American Association, has declared that all proceeds collected at their memorial concert on October 06, 2001, will be given as funds for I-FOCUS.

Indo-American Chambers of Commerce in Atlanta, Tampa and Dallas have also been contacted to have similar I-FOCUS drive in their community and meet their individual targets.  Indo-American students from the University of Houston and the Rice University came on short notice to volunteer their time, donate blood and show support for those affected by the inhuman act of terrorism. The students are also raising money on campus to contribute to the American Red Cross.

The words most oft spoken were that “Terrorism should not be condoned or tolerated anywhere”.  In this event covered by local television stations (Channel 13 and FOX-TV), people of all faiths – Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Muslims and Christians – came to donate blood and express their sympathy for those affected by the dastardly act of cowardice.  Misguided people have been targeting Sikhs and other people of Indian origin because of their different appearance or due to their distinctive turbans and beards, which their religion dictates.  Sikhs in fact follow the religious teaching of Guru Nanak of Northern India and are a generous hard working community. IACCGH encourages all to speak out against this mindless violence by ignorant individuals or sections of this great nation. Write to your law-makers, speak in churches and on any public forum. Inform everyone you know via E-mail of the efforts of the Indo-American Community.

Indo-Americans everywhere are rallying to help in any way they can.  There were special prayer meetings held at temples and other places of worship.  In this hour of need all citizens, regardless of origin or religion, stand shoulder to shoulder with our fellow countrymen to lend support.