Fundraiser benefits Nepali earthquake victims


By Ella Skrocki

Empire resident Ella Skrocki returned from Nepal just weeks before the tragic earthquake struck. She wrote the story “Nepal in our hearts and minds” for Skrocki is an organizer of a fundraiser on May 14 at The Remedy cafe in Traverse City, from 4-7 p.m. The event will benefit Nepali earthquake victims. Guests will be treated to Nepali cuisine, live music by local artists, a slideshow of Skrocki’s experiences, and before and after images of impacted areas.

Here is Ella Skrocki’s story:

“I lived in the Langtang region, in the Rasuwa District of Nepal, for two months, studying the culture as well as sustainable living methods of those who reside in the small mountain villages. The home I lived in in Bharku, is now in shambles along with the other clay or stone structured homes in the surrounding poverty-stricken villages. Along with loss of life, many of the villagers are now left with nothing. They are struggling to ration their limited food, are in need of shelter and home reconstruction, and medicine is still needed among the ill-falling villagers. With monsoon season quickly approaching, there is worry amongst the villagers that the heavy, unceasing rain will cause more destruction to their communities. Along with landslides, leaches, flooding and disease are also causes for concern for they are currently living in makeshift tents.

Though the Tamang and Nepali people in general are incredibly strong and self-reliant, they are in need, for they have suffered such abundant loss that it is too much to handle for one people.

Angnima, the man I lived with for 2 months, once asked me the simple, heartwarming question: “what is religion without wiping the tears of those in need?” I dare you to try and answer that question. More so, what is happiness, love and life without wiping the tears of those in need?

I remember, a morning in the now buried Langtang Village, I watched him run his walking pole to an elderly woman that was limping by. I asked him if he knew the woman. He said “No. But what good does using this pole bring when I know that someone else needs it more than me.”

The Nepali people believe greatly in karma. If you do a small act for one, they believe you will receive a great reward in the future. In the villages, I was fed like a queen, by humble people that had so little in regards to tangible items. They would take great offense if one were not to accept two heaping servings of dal bhat for they wanted to give to bring them happiness. The elder father of my dear friend Dorje once told me: “I am a poor man, but I have a big family”. And that is all that really mattered. Tangible wealth does not matter, no. Health, food, shelter, safety, love and family, surely do.

In alliance with “All Hands Volunteer” we will be able to send funds directly to the villages of Bharku, Thulo Shabru, Gatlang, amongst others in the Langtang region that were severely devastated by the natural disaster.

The fundraising event will be held at The Remedy in Traverse City, Michigan on May 14th starting at 4pm. There will be live music by local artists, a slideshow of my Nepal experience and the touching individuals who make up the beautiful country. There will also be before and after photos, showing the impact of the earthquake. We will have Nepali cuisine to snack on as well as beer available for purchase at the Workshop bar.

So join us. To congregate, to learn about life in Nepal, to laugh, to share love, to boogie, to drink, and to donate.

Every tiny contribution that we can make, helps to bring a big, positive change. We can be a force; like the tremors prior to a 7.8 magnitude earthquake.