The United States of America recently experienced mass shootings throughout California, followed by yet another Black man murdered because of entrenched racist policies. People of various religious and secular backgrounds have conducted vigils, grieved, sought answers, and tried to make sense of human-to-human death.

What happens, however, when death is not because of humans but, instead, because of something beyond human power, like an earthquake?

Some will explain it in metaphysical ways. Others will explain it scientifically. Please make no mistake. Many of us have heard and seen the devastating loss of lives occurring in Turkey and Syria, as well as in other places throughout the Levant region, places well-known to many members of different religious faiths, especially Muslims, Christians, and Jews. Their history is vast and rich, worthy of study. As of this writing, nearly 8,000 have died with the death toll likely to increase.

We, the Dean, Directors of Muslim and Jewish life, and Church relations at the Fish Interfaith Center express our most profound sorrow for the thousands of people whose lives ended and their families. In addition, we pray that the survivors can ultimately find the strength and material means to rebuild their lives.

We call on the Chapman community and others to find ways to assist them. For example, many in North America and beyond are using LaunchGood. Week of Compassion, a relief organization of the Disciples of Christ, is also actively raising funds to help. Please consider using them, and reject any notion your assistance is of little value.