Watch CBS News

Lottery Winner, Nepali Native Raises Funds For Disaster Relief

Follow CBSDFW.COM: Facebook | Twitter

PLANO (CBS 11 NEWS)  - The UN says in all, eight million people have been affected by the disaster.  Many of them remain in desperate need of help.

Now a North Texas man who recently made headlines for his good fortune is trying to pay it forward.

Chandra Siwakoti let us know about the candlelight vigil planned at the Shri Ram Mandir Hindu temple Friday night at 8 o'clock to honor the victims of the Nepal earthquake.  We first met him back in February when his store sold a winning lottery ticket.  Now he hopes some of his good luck can rub off on his home country.

(credit: CBS 11 News)

From the moment he learned he had a million dollars coming to him for selling the winning ticket to a Powerball jackpot, Chandra Siwakoti started making plans to build a school or some other big project in Nepal where he grew up.  But now he has a more urgent humanitarian effort.

"This is an emergency.  That is a different one.  I'm going to do it, but later on, but I just now, I have to focus on this one," Siwakoti said.

He spent some desperate moments trying to get in touch with family members when he got news this weekend of the massive earthquake that has claimed thousands of lives in Nepal.

"Most of them, my family is safe right now, but they still are unable to stay at their house.  They're sitting outside in tents," Siwakoti said.

(credit: CBS 11 News)

But he knows they're the lucky ones.  While he still dreams of building a school for the Nepali people in the long term, for now the immediate needs take priority.

"Whatever I can personally, I can contribute, and we'll send them through the Red Cross or through the UNICEF," he said.

Siwakoti is working with other local leaders to help coordinate relief efforts and to maintain awareness of what will be a problem for years to come.

"We want to help desperately as early as possible.  That's our main thing because they need help," Siwakoti said.

Click here if you'd like to help or you can make contributions in person at the Shri Ram Mandir Hindu temple in Plano.

Click, "Donate," and be sure to specify that you want the money to go to, "Nepal Disaster Fund."

(©2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.