Cary Family's Trip Home To Sri Lanka Becomes Relief Mission
Posted December 29, 2004 4:35 a.m. EST
CARY, N.C. — One local family from Sri Lanka is heading home.
The trip, originally planned as a wedding, will now focus on helping strangers.
"It's like going to a funeral -- it's pretty sad," said Geetha Fernando.
The Fernando family played on Sri Lanka's beaches in June. Those same beaches are now littered with debris and bodies.
The Fernandos consider the victims in Sri Lanka all brothers and sisters and will do anything to help.
"Take the shovel and dig the holes, drive the truck and deliver the food. ... It's our country," said Reshan Fernando.
"I'm glad to go there and share the pain with them. You almost feel guilty," said Geetha Fernando. "I'm sleeping on my bed and it doesn't feel right because those people are going through so much."
The Fernandos' 8- and 10-year-old sons chipped in with a bake sale bringing in $301.11.
The secret recipe: generous neighbors and a good cause.
The 20 or so Sri Lankan families in the Triangle are all close with the Fernandos. They've raised more than $2,000.
"All these people getting dragged away to the sea and we can't help them," said Lalitha Andrady. "It's a very helpless situation."
Andrady's husband is in Sri Lanka now. All of her family is on the coast, and she can't get in touch with her sister.
"It's hard," Andrady said. "I wish all these people will have some way of getting by and get all of the food, medication and everything they need."
The Fernando family leaves for Sri Lanka on Saturday. They'll take all the money and items they've raised with them.