Many in Connecticut are watching disaster unfold in Nepal, where a devastating earthquake claimed more than 4,000 lives, praying their loved ones are safe and channeling their heartbreak into acts of kindness and generosity.
At least four Americans are among the dead and others, including a Stamford native, are unaccounted for. Aid has been coming in from around the world for the eight million people affected by the quake.
"I cannot cry in front of the world, but I am crying inside my heart," said Ram Shrestha with the Branford-based Society of Nepalese in America.
The quake destroyed Shrestha's childhood home and killed at least two cousins. Some of his family members are huddled under a tarp, which they now call home.
"I'm even scared to pick up the phone nowadays. Every single phone means some sort of sorrow," said Shrestha.
Sixty-year-old Stamford native Jennifer Cushman is still missing. Her family posted her information online, hoping Cushman will reach to say she's safe.
Berlin resident Brooke Schreiner felt relief when she received news that her brother, Casey was alive at the Kathmandu airport. Casey had been at one of Mount Everest's now devastated base camp just days before the quake.
His sister is concerned he's not yet safe.
"He is basically stranded and trapped inside the airport at Kathmandu," said Schreiner. "They don't have any food. They have water today. They didn't have any water yesterday."
With ruined cities and villages turning into graveyards, and many still unaccounted for, those who are stateside are doing what they can to pitch in.
Members of the Society of Nepalese in America are working to raise money and say every penny will go to the victims of the devastated country. They're also begging doctors and nurses to volunteer to head over.
"One doctor can save thousands and thousands of lives," said Shrestha.
As videos reveal the wreckage and desperation, many hope those halfway across the world will help save them.
"People are losing their lives. Family, father, mother, son, the house is collapsed. They losing everything," said Ram Hari Bhandari, chairman of the Society of Nepalese in America. "Please help whatever they can possible."
The organization has also planned a candlelight prayer ceremony to take place Tuesday night on the Branford Green. Organizers say everyone is invited and have asked people to arrive by 7:30 p.m.