The past few days have broken those in the Nepali diaspora in ways that I can’t quite articulate.

We have spent hours clutching digital screens, desperately dialing numbers, finding hints of solace in something as simple as a “share” button and feeling utterly impotent and useless.

As we continue to wait for word from loved ones and stare helplessly at messages describing the ongoing suffering and trauma faced by our relatives who have sat outside in the rain consumed by absolute fear of the ground beneath them, we have felt powerless. Our hearts ache for our people as we watch the destruction from afar.

But as our brothers and sisters at home dig relatives out from the rubble and continue to find ways to quell the suffering, humans from Indonesia to Vancouver who simply care are assembling to share necessary information and solicit vital funds to help rebuild the nation of Nepal.

Elon needs to join that list.

While Nepal may seem like a far-off, foreign country, we are bounded together in more ways than one. Elon University serves as a living, breathing form of the promise of recovery in face of tragedy. We proudly share the narrative to everyone we know: the university burned to the ground, “rose from the ashes” and hasn’t stopped climbing since.

It’s a story that has also been written into Nepal’s history. Facing unimaginable trauma time and time again, Nepali people are woven together by the same spirit that allowed Elon to pick up its own broken pieces 92 years ago. For the past few days, that same resilience in Nepal has been continuously tested and is in desperate need of reinvigoration.

While my someday-children may not be able to fully grasp the joy of playing in the magical Durbar Square — an ancient city within Kathmandu that was founded in the third century — or witness the protective power of Dharahara Tower — a monument built in the 1800s by royal rulers that watched over our beloved city — I hope to share with them a story of a nation that rose from the rubble.

I hope to tell them the story of a resilient spirit that stood bravely in the face of tragedy, and how a world — including the community I love and call my alma mater — united to restore her. 

This is more than a trend on social media, a picture shared on your timeline or a heartbreaking story captured in 180 characters. This is more than Connor Grennan, who has come to define Nepal for many in our community. This is more than “global engagement” or anything listed on classroom syllabi or mission statements.  This is much, much more than something Smith Jackson said in an email.

I’m not asking you to empty your wallets or saying that other worthy causes in the world right now don’t deserve attention. They all matter.

This is just an urgent plea, an earnest request for you to recognize that the distance between our homes isn’t as great as you may think and that Nepal deserves your prayer, thought and financial support, in whatever capacity — even when it stops trending on social media.

Please follow Elon For Nepal (#ElonForNepal) to find out how to donate to Nepal’s relief efforts and to remain up-to-date with the situation in Nepal even when it stops trending.


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