Updated: Tuesday, October 21, 3:30 a.m.

The Georgetown Solidarity Committee began collecting donations this week to aid Houy Team Tang, known to colleagues and students as Leslie Yang, an employee at O’Donovan Hall whose house burned down at the end of September.

On Sept. 24, an electrical fire caused by a kitchen stove quickly spread to the rest of Tang’s home, destroying many of her belongings. Several other items in the house were then stolen a few days later, according to GSC member Chessa Gross (SFS ’10).

Tang said her husband was also severely burned in the fire and now makes daily trips to the hospital burn clinic for $50 treatments. Soon after the fire, Tang sustained a grave ankle injury which prevented her from working for two weeks.

Tang has been the sole source of income in her family for the past year ever since her husband suffered a stroke. She is now working four different jobs and is living off of two hours of sleep per night, she said last night.

“I haven’t had peace in my life in a while,” Tang said. “People say I work too hard, but I have to work to survive.”

GSC, a workers’ rights group on campus, found out about Tang’s circumstances this week and started a fundraising campaign on her behalf. Gross said the committee has formed friendships with dining hall employees in the past and, as a result of these friendships, has been able to offer support and assistance to those in need.

GSC has set up a PayPal account to enable contributors to send funds directly to Tang, Gross said. The PayPal account is accessible through a link on the GSC Web site, georgetownsolidarity.org. GSC will also be tabling next week in Red Square for the fundraising efforts.

Due to the severity of the fire, all donations are welcome, although Gross said that monetary donations would be best.

“Because she has to move around, money is the most important necessity,” Gross said.

GSC has not at this point finalized plans for this fundraising campaign, she added.

“We’ll be reaching out to other groups on campus,” she said. “Anyone who wants to help out is welcome.”

In April, GSC united the Georgetown students in support of Altagracia Sanchez, another dining hall employee, whose house also burned down.

“Solidarity is when someone engages in a struggle or movement with someone else, not because they are taking pity on someone, but because they realize that it is something that they must do,” Gross said. “It is our responsibility as the Georgetown community to be in solidarity with her.”

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