Sherry Chen's Letter to Supporters
I grew up in Beijing, China with a very loving family consisting of my parents and three brothers. I knew how hard it was for my parents to raise four kids and work at the same time. In order not to have my parents and brothers worry about the only girl in the family, I was well behaved. I helped my parents doing chores and got good grades from schools and then went to Tsinghua University. After I came to the United States and started working in the water resources field for US government agencies as a good worker year after year for over two decades.
I have been working with dedication and faith for my agencies and the country. However, on October 20, 2014, my life was flipped upside-down after I was indicted for four counts of felony charges. I faced a penalty of life in prison and a fine of $1 million for something I didn’t do. To fight for life, my brothers had to put everything down to find ways to borrow money for my legal fees while at the same time making sure not to let my mom know. We knew she just could not bear this.
One week prior to trial, after a comprehensive presentation by my counsel, government prosecutors finally realized that there was no evidence to support the charges against me, and dropped the case. I thought the nightmare was over after five long months of the darkest days in my life, and I was hoping to put the tragedy behind me and move on with my life. However, despite being cleared of all charges, the Department of Commerce -- the agency I work for -- terminate my employment based on the same conduct that I was originally alleged for. I have no choice but to save my job and my life once again. However, I am heavily burdened from the loss of income and the legal fees defending my previous case. Now I have to raise a legal defense fund for my current case. I sincerely ask for your help so that I could have my legal counsel represent me in order to respond to the situation. I decided to do this not just for myself, but also for every American citizens and our future generations to live in a fair, equal society without discrimination so that people can lead a happy life on this beautiful land.
Many people know that I like Christmas very much, especially Christmas lights. Every year, I would go to places to see colorful Christmas lights -- red, green, yellow and other sparkling lights. They seem like brilliant gemstone inlaid with night, forming a colorful, wonderful, and dream-like world.
However, it was not the same for the 2014 holiday season. I was under arrest. Just three days before Thanksgiving, the National Weather Service suspended my pay, the only income we had. On that Christmas night, my husband and I walked on a silent road in our neighborhood. It seemed so cold and so dark even though the colorful lights were still frequently flashing in the dark night. I knew I did not commit any crime and had done nothing wrong. Over the 20 years, I've been working so hard and have given my best to the American people and this country. I didn’t understand why my government treated me like this. I was shaking and couldn’t control my tears. I didn’t know if this might be my last time to see the Christmas lights. I was so sad and felt so lonely and chilly with winds blowing at me from all directions. . .
Since the New York Time reported my story in May 2015, I have received tremendous support and donations from many Chinese American organizations and our community people all over the country. Your support has encouraged me and kept my spirit high during my fight for justice. On behalf of my family, I like to thank each and every one of you for your care and support. I don’t feel alone anymore. Thank you so much.
但是自从纽约时报于2015 五月报道了我的故事以后, 我得到了来自全国各地华人组织和个人同情，鼓励，和捐款。 你们的努力让我感到无比温暖。 我代表我的家人衷心地感谢你们每一个人! 你们的每一份捐助对我都如同圣诞夜空中闪烁的彩灯. 有了你们的帮助, 我不再孤独。 谢谢大家。