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Magnolia, Arkansas, woman urges donations of all kinds for her homeland

Southern Arkansas University

A Nepali woman who moved to Magnolia, Arkansas, 11 years ago is relieved that her parents and grandmother are safe after Saturday’s massive earthquake. But Charu Simmons regrets not seeing her homeland one more time before the 7.8-magnitude quake. Simmons’ parents lives just outside of the capital Kathmandu. They were outside when the earthquake struck and are safe. Simmons says her grandmother was in bed and crawled outside to safety.

“The whole thing shook so bad. They did not know what was going to happen next. My mom was crying for help. Thankfully, she got to granny, and they were all staying outside after that,” Simmons said, whose brother also came to the U.S. in 2004 to pursue a college education.

Simmons is using social media to stay abreast of the situation. She was on Facebook when she first learned of Saturday’s devastating earthquake. She’s grateful for these communication tools and gets updates from her family every day.

“I’m very thankful for this new technology, which has helped us a lot to communicate. Landlines were all out. We couldn’t get a hold of them through cell phones. But somehow the Internet is stable,” Simmons said.

Simmons earned her bachelor’s degree from Southern Arkansas University last year. She works for El Dorado-based Murphy USA. She says her employer is matching all employee donations to earthquake relief. Every gesture big and small, she says, will help this economically poor country dig out from the ruin.

Chuck Smith brings more than 30 years' broadcast and media experience to Red River Radio. He began his career as a radio news reporter and transitioned to television journalism and newsmagazine production. Chuck studied mass communications at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia and motion picture / television production at the University of California at Los Angeles. He has also taught writing for television at York Technical College in Rock Hill, South Carolina and video / film production at Centenary College of Louisiana, Shreveport.
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