I plan to write more on this, but I’m currently at Jay Ishida’s in Toronto and plan to leave here very soon. Great “Drink for Japan” night last night.
I just saw this and wanted to put it out there. A few of my friends have started their own charity in Fukushima in order to directly help people in Soma. Please check it out and donate. Also, share the group on Facebook and Twitter.
Vinnie Burns wrote this on Facebook:
7 of us in Fukushima Prefecture have started a charity to help pay for tuition, food, supplies, transportation and whatever else we can for kindergarten students at a school in Soma, Fukushima, an area hard hit by the tsunami. many of the students’ parents have lost their homes, jobs, and everything else so they can’t pay for their kids to go to school. any donation you can make, whether big or small, would be greatly appreciated, and 100% of it will go directly towards helping them. if you have time, please take a look at our website and read about “our inspiration.” thanks!
Hearts for Haragama – Below is a section from the website. Please check it out.
Tsukasa and his family own and operate Haragama Youchien, a kindergarten in Soma. All 64 of their students were safe from the tsunami as they were aboard a bus being driven by Tsukasa when the massive wave destroyed their neighbourhood. Twenty-seven students lost their homes and are now living in evacuation centers. Many families are now without incomes, as various businesses in the area were also washed away. Fortunately, thanks to being located atop a small hill, the kindergarten itself was untouched by the tsunami. They are already planning to re-open and resume lessons on April 11th – exactly one month after the tsunami ravaged their community – completely free of charge.
On top of this, despite their own personal losses, and with the help of some of the students’ mothers, Tsukasa and his family have taken it upon themselves to provide hot meals and offer a bus service to and from the kindergarten for each student, beginning April 20th. Due to the lack of income and essential resources in the Soma area, we have decided to help Tsukasa in this noble endeavour by providing them with the food, supplies and financial support they need until life in Fukushima begins to return to normal and they can operate efficiently once again.
Thanks to the generous donations we have secured from businesses and other NPOs alike, Tsukasa already has enough food to provide his students with hot meals for the immediate future. However, he still needs our help to cover the kindergaten’s operating costs. By donating, you will be helping to replace destroyed white goods, food preparation supplies and teaching materials, as well as helping cover delivery, transportation and tuition costs which Tsukasa and his family had originally planned to cover by themselves.
Ensuring the welfare and quality of life of the students of Haragama is our first priority. Once we have adequately achieved this goal, any remaining funds will be donated directly to Tsukasa and his family themselves so that they may begin in earnest the long process of rebuilding their lives in Soma. They are wonderful people who have demonstrated great generosity and strength of character since the events of March 11, and we sincerely believe they deserve all the support they can get.
With thanks and love from Fukushima,
Billy, Darren, Danny, Sayaka, Haruka, Vinnie and Kevin
As well, I was sent this link to another chariy where you can buy a t-shirt to directly help the people of Minami-Soma.
And…grabbed the following off of Facebook about Transportation.
For people coming back to Fukushima from Tokyo these days:
The JR buses from Shinjuku and Tokyo station are almost fully booked for Monday. Call ahead of time (024-534-2011 I think) to check for availabilities.
– Shinkansen to Nasushiobara. Bus to Koriyama. Bus to Fukushima.
– Bus to Iwaki. Bus to Koriyama. Bus to Fukushima. (this is presently what I’m doing. Not the greatest but…)
– Wait until Tuesday for Shinkansen service to Koriyama and Fukushima.