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Dinner to raise money for Japan, domestic flood relief

When a massive earthquake rocked Japan in March, leaving a wide path of devastation and months of rehabilitation in its wake, Samin Khan and other members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community decided to take action.

What started it all was the Japanese earthquake. It was so devastating and changed the lives of an entire country, said Khan.

After the May 22 tornado in Joplin, MO hit, capping of weeks of similar disasters throughout the south, Khan decided to help both Japan and Americans rebound.

A fundraising dinner featuring Indian/Pakistani and American food prepared by members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Temple Sinai and members of the Presbyterian-New England Congregational Church in Saratoga Springs will take place on Sunday, June 12, at the Presbyterian-New England Congregational Church at 24 Circular St.

"Whatever we raise will go to domestic places and Japan," said Khan.

Ticket sales to the dinner will benefit ShelterBox USA, an international disaster relief charity of Rotary International that delivers emergency supply boxes to people affected by disasters worldwide.

According to shelterboxusa.org, the organization sets a goal of sending out 500,000 boxes a year. As of this writing, 106,062 boxes had been delivered so far.

"ShelterBox is a really nice idea; we haven't heard of it before," said Khan. "In Joplin or Japan, everying comes in a box so they have something to live off. It gives basic needs."

It takes $1,000 to sponsor one box. Each box can service a family of six to eight people and contains essential equipment for someone who is displaced or homeless, including a tent, blankets, water purifier, cook and heating stove, eating and cooking utensils, tools and other things.

Temple Sinai, Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and the Presbyterian-New England Congregational Church may seem like an odd assortment of groups working together. Khan said they're really very much the same.

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