Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Socks for Update!

Last week when I published that email from Makiko Oku, I intended to do one thing: Promote an effort that I saw as valiant and unique. While I knew I could donate money to the bigger organizations as a way of helping, I found this opportunity to be different. I did not see the effort as THE WAY to help Japan and the people living there affected by the terrible tragedies that ensued. No. I saw it as A WAY. One small way to show the people of Japan that we are thinking of them. Praying for them. We care. So I embraced it. 

I am thrilled to bring you an update to Makiko's Socks For Japan efforts!

Dear Friends,

Since our socks campaign was launched a week ago, we've received overwhelming support and donations from friends and their friends and family from across the US and abroad. I am profoundly touched and humbled by your love and compassion. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I am writing primarily because I want to convey some good news that came from our friends in Japan two days ago. They delivered our first batch of 300 socks, as well as 1,000 more that was collected from around the world. The socks were brought to two evacuation shelters in Kita-Ibaragi city, which was devastated by the tsunami and is located right south of the Fukushima nuclear power plants. I was told that the people in the shelters were very pleased and humbled to receive new pairs of socks from friends far away. They were able to change their socks for the first time in over ten days during which they haven't showered or taken a bath since the earthquake and tsunami hit. I was also told that the people who received the socks carefully read the personal message attached to each pair and kept it fondly as if it would give them strength and good luck. I cannot tell you how moved I was to hear this. 

Since last Tuesday, we've collected over 500 pairs of socks and a lot of donations. Your contributions will allow us to send more socks to the people in the evacuation shelters in the northeast region of Japan. We will be sending our second batch by the end of March, and your socks and monetary donation are deeply appreciated. I was told that other evacuation shelters are in desperate need for socks, and we want to make another shipment as soon as possible. There are still thousands of people who are displaced and need socks to keep them warm. We're hoping to send the third batch in early April. 

I attached some pictures from inside the evacuation shelters when the socks were delivered, as well as images from the surrounding areas. Feel free to pass this email along to your friends, family, and colleagues. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact me anytime. Thank you so much for your heartfelt support.

Praying for Japan,

The photographs show what my words are seemingly incapable of conveying. The socks help. Maybe not entirely. But they do help.

To the person who left the anonymous comment on my blog last week discouraging this particular effort: It has made a difference.

I'd much rather help in a small way than not help at all.

Thank you, Makiko, for letting me publish these photographs and your words.

1 comment:

  1. Awww! It must be such a nice feeling to know that you're bringing a smile to someone's face during a hard time when smiling is the last thing anyone wants to do.