With the devastation that resulted from the recent tsunami in Japan, the Japanese Culture Club (JCC) and American Red Cross (ARC) Club both initiated fundraising events in the two weeks immediately following the initial earthquake, to aid the relief efforts across the Pacific.
During the first week, the JCC used the Homecoming Penny Drive collection box in the courtyard during lunch for students to drop in monetary donations. Yuya Kono, the president of JCC, along with other members of the club, braved the week-long rains to supervise the donations box. The lunchtime donations went to the American Red Cross.
Last November, the CVHS Japanese Language program hosted a dozen Japanese exchange students from Kitakami High School for a week. Megan Hickman, a member of the JCC, reported that “we contacted our friends from Kitakami through Facebook, and everyone [from that area] is safe.”
However, Hickman did hear news of a boy from Kitakami whom she did not know, whose grandparents were apparently missing.
“The student’s baseball team held a special game for him, to help distract him and make him feel better,” said Hickman.
Throughout the second week, AP Japanese students visited CVHS classrooms with large envelopes, also for donations. Tthe money collected in these was intended to directly aid the students of Kitakami High School.
As for the ARC Club on campus, they plan on reserving a day or two for their club members and anyone else who wishes to join to fold 1000 paper cranes. Origami is a significant part of Japanese culture; folding 1000 paper cranes is thought to bring good luck and fortune and grant one wish. The ARC Club would sell the cranes in front of Safeway for $1, but since the birds would ultimately be sent to Japan, the people would be purchasing the cranes just to sign their names and messages, then place them into a container bound for Japan.
Of course, “Texting REDCROSS to 90999 to will donate $10 to support relief efforts in Japan, with the charge showing up on next month’s phone bill,” said Brian Zhang, co-president of the ARC Club. “Officials from the Japanese Red Cross have indicated they would be grateful for donations from the American Red Cross to support their earthquake and tsunami response. In the first 24 hours, the Japanese Red Cross dispatched 62 response teams. These medical relief teams [were] made up of about 400 doctors, nurses, and support staff.”
Both clubs encourage any donations that can be spared.
“I know the economy is bad, but any amount is appreciated,” said Kono. Along these lines, Zhang agreed, “Disasters happen everywhere. Please donate.”