Since returning to America, the two sisters have continued to generate support and funds for those most in need, working with Sri Lankans in both the United States and the island nation.
The Los Angeles-based Sri Lanka Foundation, for example, founded by Sri Lankan natives Walter and Aeshea Jayasinghe, has supported construction of homes, a school and a hospital in the disaster zone. "Groups like the Sri Lanka Foundation have presented opportunities to work with so many others here and abroad who share a common purpose of providing continued support for a new Sri Lanka," said Alissa Sears.
Meanwhile, the Sears' benefit events have raised additional funds for the construction of a school and community center.
Sarah has furthered her Volunteer Ministry in South America, while Alissa has organized seminars in study technology in Sri Lanka.
And letters of thanks continue to come.
"You and your group stepped in and helped the victims in many ways. ... We welcome your training of our Lions Club volunteers in your assists program so that they can continue your good work. Your trauma counseling is required most in the war and tsunami-affected areas of the North and East of Sri Lanka. Our Lions Clubs ... will be ever willing to assist you in all your humanitarian work," wrote K. Wignaraja, the president of the Lions Club in Colombo.
Dr. A. Harsha De Silva, coordinating officer for foreign medical officers and assistance of the Sri Lankan government, wrote, "The tsunami destroyed the homes, lives and livelihoods of our people. It was at this time that the Scientology volunteers arrived in Sri Lanka. Your dedicated volunteers worked tirelessly to construct many tents, clear debris, offer first aid to thousands and utilize the methods of Mr.
"You and your team have helped our people to rebuild their lives and through the support of your organizations internationally, their homes as well," De Silva said. "I offer my sincere appreciation and gratitude...."
As Alissa Sears sees it, something can be done about it, no matter where you are. "The biggest realization we both had was the potential to make a difference," she said. "This is solely determined by one's own decision to reach as far out as possible and to touch as many lives as possible."