Local Samoa Relief

Fresno, CA "I was shocked and very sad about it."

Fili Samuela grew up in Samoa. But never in her life, has she seen the devastation caused by last week's deadly tsunami.

"They're my family. Even if they're not my family it just hurts me to hear most of our people found dead and lost homes. Lost everything they had."

More than 170 people died in the massive earthquake and waves that wiped out several communities.

Fili lost 14 of her family members when the water destroyed their small village.

"Their first warning was the earthquake like two minutes of warning on the earthquake and so when they were leaving their homes, they turned around to see the water right there by them. There was nothing they could do."

Fili belongs to the Samoa Christian Church here in Southeast Fresno. In just the past few days, they've managed to collect pile of clothes, which will be sent to the tsunami victims.

"Samoan people are so tight, they stand together, they work together, do things together. So now, we heard about what happened to our people, now we can't deny the fact that we ought to do something to help them."

Aside from gathering clothes, church goers have also raised money by holding car washes.

For Fili and other local Samoans, doing all they can to help people who survived the tsunami helps them through the grieving process.

"We want to be there for our families, our people, but we can't, we physically can't. This is the best we can do from our side."

If you'd like to help, you can donate clothes at the Samoa Christian Church on Church Avenue.

Church members are also holding another car wash this Saturday, and plan to have a walk-a-thon at some point. They will start sending out some of the donated items on Friday.

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