Los Angeles, like other West Coast cities in the United States, has close ties to Asia and is home to many Asian immigrants. The earthquake and tsunami in Japan have moved many to contribute to the humanitarian relief efforts for the survivors.
As relief workers in Japan help survivors of the tsunami and earthquake, outside Los Angeles City Hall, the American Red Cross and local officials collect relief funds.
Red Cross spokesman Charlie Sardou says donations were small at first, but not now.
“As people are beginning to see the images and understand the gravity of the situation in Japan, we’re seeing a significant up tick in donations,” Sardou said.
Bernard Parks is a city councilman.
“Hi there. Can you help us out on the earthquake?” he asks passersby.
Parks says response is good.
“People just think it’s a great cause," he says. "A large number have just thanked us for being out here making this effort to help those who are in distress.”
City Council member Jan Perry says morning drivers have been generous.
“People have been throwing two dollars, five dollars, 10s and 20s. Bernard has gotten a 100 dollar bill. I’ve gotten a 100 dollar bill. So it’s starting to pick up,” Perry says.
Chinese American Catherine Chan says the Japanese disaster is a reminder that people should be ready for anything.
“To me, it’s a wake-up call and people should be prepared for it, and even though, myself, I’m not prepared for it, " she admits. " I’m hoping and I’m praying that it will never happen again.”
Chan says for now, her hopes and prayers are with the people of Japan.