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Minnesota Nepalis to hold candlelight vigil in Capitol; fundraisers continue

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Minnesota's Nepali community is feeling the ripple effects from the devastating earthquake in their home country, with news from loved ones eagerly awaited and worries mounting.

But they're not taking it passively. As a number of fundraising efforts get underway, the Twin Cities-based Association of Nepalis in Minnesota (ANMN) is holding a candlelight vigil to honor earthquake victims and raise awareness of the disaster.

The gathering will take place at the Capitol in St. Paul Wednesday evening, according to ANMN's website.

Local fundraising efforts

– A south Minneapolis restaurant owned by natives of Nepal says it will donate a portion of its earnings next week to earthquake relief efforts, according to WCCO.

The Himalayan, on East Lake Street, said Wednesday that all the proceeds it earns from May 5 through May 7 will go to provide relief.

The owners say they will cover wages and expenses during the fundraising period.

– Nepali students at the University of Minnesota Duluth are holding a fundraiser Wednesday outside the Kirby Book Store on campus, Northland's News Center reports.

They told the station they've raised about $700 so far but hope to raise as much as possible for relief efforts.

– Elsewhere, two Bemidji State University students are running their own campus drive from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., according to the Bemidji Pioneer.

The paper says the donations they gather will go to either Oxfam America or the World Food Program USA, both involved in the Nepal relief effort.

"As a community, this tragedy is perhaps the greatest sorrow and challenge our generation has come to face," ANMN says.

So far, the organization has raised over $36,000. You can donate on their homepage.

Death toll continues to rise

Former ANMN President Ajib Shrestha told the Pioneer Press he has been personally impacted by the earthquake, with a cousin and a distant relative dying in the tragedy.

He also told the paper his family members in Nepal have been sleeping outdoors, as aftershocks have made staying in their homes too risky.

The number of dead continues to climb, with the Star Tribune reporting that it has exceeded 5,000.

Millions of survivors are now in need of aid, including food, shelter and medical attention.

You can find out more about relief efforts at American Red Cross.

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