Over the past week, flood waters have been rising in the South-western city of Tongren in China. Hua-Xian and Youkui Xiao, my Mother & Father by marriage are two of the many hundreds of thousands who have been devastated by this tragic force of Nature. The Xiao's are the some of the kindest, most gentle hearted people I have had the pleasure to meet in all my years and from this flood they're home & belongings will be permanently damaged.
Mr Xiao (65), was stuck semi-deaf several years ago, which has limited the work he can do to odd jobs for local university such as cleaning classrooms. He has been suffering from a number of ailments in the past few years and so Mrs. Xiao (61) has been the primary supporter of their family. She worked as a piano teacher until she developed severe Rheumatoid Arthritis, then continued working as a librarian, then a substitute teacher, then an administrative assistant, and anything else she can do to support the family. At one point they even raised snails to sell to local markets to help feed and provide for their family.
In 2012, they adopted a nine year old little girl named Li who was abandoned by her family, and have been raising Li as though she were their own. This family who has never had much has always helped anyone in need is now facing this crisis without knowing how they will survive it. They have never made enough to have savings or be able to afford insurance and will be hard pressed to recover without help. The weather forecast is showing that the rains will continue to flood the area for at least the next 10 days and the waters will continue to rise.
My wife and I want to travel there to help but she is eight months pregnant with our first child, and we don’t have the funds and so this is especially difficult for us to watch from the side-lines. My wife and I spoke with them last night briefly before the connection was cut out and they were evacuating to higher ground as the flood waters were filling their ground level home. Though they are safe for the moment, they are in dire need of food, and bare necessities over the coming days which will be especially challenging as many thousands in Tongren and the surrounding areas are also affected. This means that some of these materials may have to be freighted in from other cities in the region, as the local airport and roads are also flooded.
All donations given will go to help the Xiao family recover from this flood, and provide food, shelter, and basic necessities for them in the coming weeks and help them recover from this tragedy. Any donation whether large or small would be greatly appreciated and will have a major impact on the lives of our family! If you cannot donate, please share this on Facebook, Linked-in or twitter to help us get the word out. Our family thanks you for your prayers and support during this time of great need and God Bless you all.
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- John Piletz
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