Spring is here in New York! I trust this finds you well and enjoying the warm sunshine.
We are pleased to report that ease NY Japan Recovery Event on March 11 was a great success. Thank you to all of you who came and everyone who was there in spirit in support of our initiative. We are deeply moved by the caring and kindness shown by so many people.
Reflecting on my own experience from one year ago, I was scheduled to fly to Japan with my one-year-old daughter on March 11, 2011. I was woken up by a phone call from Makiko in the middle of the night and learned about the disaster which had just hit Japan including her family in Kesennuma-city. There was not enough information about the situation, and my flight was not going to be cancelled. I decided to take the flight as planned. I thought I could go help Makiko’s family.
Arriving at Narita Airport, I found all the transportation was paralyzed. It took us more than 6 hours to get to a hotel in Tokyo. Frequent aftershocks continued every day. Bottled water was sold out, the threat of radiation contamination was increasing. It was a very difficult time, especially with a young child, but I thought of the people who lost their loved ones, homes and livelihood. My difficulty was nothing, compared to what they were going through.
For the past year, I have been wanting to go to the hardest hit areas and work as a volunteer. But with both business and family responsibilities, I was only able to send monetary contributions. Approaching the one year anniversary, everyone at ease NY thought of ways to help, and came up with the idea to hold the ease NY Japan Recovery Event on March 11. Everyone of my staff was eager to participate. It is my great honor and pleasure to work with such caring colleagues. One of our therapists has volunteered to work at the site removing debris.
In addition to this event on March 11, we have held an “aroma fundraising” campaign since last year, together which we have raised $5,711.05. We will donate the full amount to “Ashinaga Ikueikai” which supports orphaned children.
We continue to pray for the victims and those affected by the disaster and wish for their fast recovery. It is our aspiration to give what we can and help those in need in Japan and beyond.
Thank you for your support as always.