Feb 25, 2014

Double your donations to support volunteers like Mihoko!

"Thank you to everyone who will read my book!"
"Thank you to everyone who will read my book!"

Today, we'd like to share a story out of many lives you have changed - through supporting our project.

This is Mihoko Terada. Mihoko is a volunteer for the Taylor Anderson Memorial Gift Fund. She is the mother of 2 sons and loves to watch her sons’ soccer games. While born in Nagoya, she has been living with her family in Sendai, Miyagi for over 10 years. When the earthquake happened Mihoko and her family were very frightened, but fortunately no one was injured. As soon as the train lines were working, they went back to her hometown of Nagoya to stay with family. When they went back to Sendai her sister worried about the radiation and sent her vegetables from Nagoya. Mihoko still worries about the radiation. She also worries a great deal about the people in Miyagi who lost their homes and family. As part of her volunteer work with the Taylor Anderson Memorial Gift Fund, Mihoko helps a variety of local non-profit groups and schools. For example, she assists in coordinating the building of English book reading corners at schools in Ishinomaki, she guided American students around the disaster zone, and she assisted as a translator in numerous meetings. Mihoko also wrote a great book about Miyagi people’s experiences during 3/11, which was edited by Keith Goldstein of IsraAid, an NGO that also works closely with the Taylor Anderson Memorial Gift Fund with PTSD workshops and a video archive. She very much looks forward to people reading this book, of which half the proceeds will be given as a donation: http://www.amazon.com/The-Disaster-Miyagi-Japan-Earthquake-ebook/dp/B00GEZ0FZA/

Comment: I am thankful for everyone who will read my book about Miyagi.

In honor of the 3rd anniversary of East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, GlobalGiving is hosting a matching campaign for projects that work for recovery in Tohoku area.  Starting March 10th, 2014 at 11am EST, your donations will be matched 100% by GlobalGiving until matchign funds last.  To donate, click on "give now" button below.  

Thank you for your support for this project, and thank you for tranforming the lives like Hitoshi! 

Feb 25, 2014

Double your donations to support students like Mao and Yayoi!

Mao "Thankful for a scholarship to live my dream"
Mao "Thankful for a scholarship to live my dream"

Today, we'd like to share stories of the people you have changed - through supporting our project.

“Mao’s Story”

Mao is a Sendai YMCA Hotel School student from Higashi Matsushima in Miyagi Prefecture. On 3.11 her house and livelihood were washed away by the tsunami. After staying at a refugee area in a local elementary school she and her family lived with their cousin in Sendai for around three months.

Thanks to Taylor’s scholarship, she is able to further her education and follow the path of study that she wanted. Her goal is to work for a local inn.  She is especially grateful for the support and love she received from people so far away.

“Yayoi’s Story”

Yayoi is a Sendai YMCA Hotel School student. Her house in Sendai was half destroyed by the earthquake on 3.11. Due to the damage, her family’s finances and her life became very tense and stressful.

During the second year of the Hotel School, she learned about the Taylor’s scholarship. Thanks to it, she could decide to proceed to her dream since junior high school to be a Hotelwoman in Yokohama where she wished to work. She finally got a job at Yokohama Royal Park Hotel which is the highest storied hotel in Japan. She is especially grateful for the encouragement by not only scholarship but also Taylor’s father’s words.

"Student Messages"

The students sent messages about their experiences and aspirations half way through their school year.  Please see them in the document titled "Student Reports from November, 2013".

In honor of the 3rd anniversary of East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, GlobalGiving is hosting a matching campaign for projects that work for recovery in Tohoku area.  Starting March 10th, 2014 at 11am EST, your donations will be matched 100% by GlobalGiving while matching funds last.  To donate, click on the "give now" button below.  

Thank you for your support for this project, and thank you for tranforming the lives of Mao, Yayoi, and many others!

Yayoi "Thankful for a chance to move forward"
Yayoi "Thankful for a chance to move forward"

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Feb 20, 2014

Ishinomaki Student Exchange Summer 2012

Students with Their Homestay Families
Students with Their Homestay Families

Seven Ishinomaki Junior High School students and two chaperones from the Tokyo YMCA visited Washington, DC and Richmond, VA July 30th to August 6th, 2012. In Washington they toured Madame Tussaud’s, visited the State Department for a meeting with Deputy Assistant Secretary James Zumwalt, toured the Capitol, had dinner with American High School students and visited Ambassador Fujisaki at his Embassy residence. Ambassador Fujisaki gave them a quiz on American Culture and rewarded the two who scored 100% with his Ambassador coins. He then gave his coins to the other five as well. They stayed in a traditional bed and breakfast in Washington.

The group took Amtrak to Richmond where they were met at the station by their homestay families from St. Catherine’s School. They enjoyed YMCA day camp at Camp Thunderbird for two days where they made new friends while participating in a number of activities including canoeing and zip lining. They performed a “so-ran-bushi” dance to over 200 campers at Camp Thunderbird and made friends who wished they could come another day. They attended the St. Catherine’s Family Festival and performed and taught the “so-ran-bushi” dance. The Japan Virginia Society hosted a picnic dinner for the students at Bogey’s Sports Park with batting cages and miniature golf. The next day they spent at Water Country USA with their host families. They spent their final day shopping and playing games before a farewell dinner hosted by the Anderson’s.

Once returning home they strove to build on what they learned from their experiences in the U.S. as you can see in the "thank you messages" written by one of their Tokyo YMCA chaperones.  One of students reported her experience as her English Speech Competition topic and won first place for Ishinomaki. Her speech was entitled “My Mission” and she concluded, “I want to continue what Taylor started, by being a bridge between Japan and America. I want to learn English much more. I will join some activities as a volunteer myself. I will make an effort to be a good person as the bridge. This is my mission.”  Her full speech is attached as well as a report by one of the English Teachers attending the competition.

The students were well loved wherever they went and were a joy to host!

Successful Zip Line Glide at YMCA Camp Thunderbird
Successful Zip Line Glide at YMCA Camp Thunderbird
Ishinomaki Students with St. Catherine's Students
Ishinomaki Students with St. Catherine's Students

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