Actions are stronger than worries

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We may worry in Tokyo about aftershocks and radiation risks, but there are some people who have more than worries. They have troubles. This week I'm shifting my focus to helping the survivors of the Tohoku Kano Earthquake who are stuck in shelters with insufficient, heat, food and hope. While relief is arriving daily and things are improving, there's still going to be a lot to do in the coming months while more suitable shelter is created and people start to get back on their feet. It's really hard to know how to act on the impulse to help as an individual. Donating money is a very good start, but it doesn't feel like enough to me. I prefer direct action.

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Peace Boat volunteers prepare supplies for their emergency relief project.

Peace Boat is a Japan-based NGO that's been delivering hula hoops from Japan to kids around the world. Now they are helping out with relief efforts in Tohoku by cooking 500 hot meals daily for evacuees in Ishinomaki. At this weekend's 4th Sunday Spin we're collecting some supplies that they need. If you are coming along to hoop and can bring (new, unopened) soy sauce, cooking oil, salt or miso, I will take everything we collect to the Peace Boat Center after the hoop jam. Cash donations are also welcome.

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Go, go Tokiko! This is Tokiko Kitano pushing a wheelbarrow to deliver blankets to those in need. She keeps her spirits high by aiding others. 

Yesterday I packed up a box of blankets, towels and other things for the Kitano family in Aizu-Wakamatsu. They are hosting 17 evacuees at their house and also delivering supplies to neighbors and others in need. I know that my small gesture, when added in with everyone else's, will help to make some people more comfortable. If you're in Japan and would like to help the Kitanos and their evacuees, check out this post from Soness Stevens on Facebook.

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I'm also starting to connect with hoopers in Japan to create fundraising activities and other events. We've got a lot of interesting ideas brewing and I will let you know what we're doing as plans come together. Ayumi from Hoop Tokyo has already collected 112,300 yen for  the Japanese Red Cross and is selling t-shirts in collaboration with Atama Warui to raise more money. 

If you are wondering how you can help to aid people in Tohoku, there are some great resources here: http://japanvolunteers.wordpress.com/

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Dear Kristen,
Many thanks again for the use of your photo! Go to my website and click on the blog page to read the post and see your lovely, very characteristic image.

All best,
Jane

http://janelear.com/index.html

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