Saturday, August 20, 2011

Dance for Tsunami Relief!

As you may have heard if you are following relief efforts in Sendai, Mr. Julian Crocker of the Carl's Eikaiwa chain is organizing a series of charity social events in Sendai for this fall, the first of which will be a dance/techno party featuring guest DJs from Tokyo to be held this upcoming Friday, April 26th, at the Shaft nightclub in Kokubuncho, Sendai.  The owners of Shaft have been kind enough to grant free use of their space and all proceeds will go to four different charities working toward the cause of tsunami relief efforts, one of which is Teachers For Japan.  In addition, Teachers For Japan members will be in attendance, selling items to raise additional funds. The price of entry is 2000 yen for men, with ladies admitted for free:

Additional events, including live shows by local bands, are planned, and details will be forthcoming as they are nailed down.  But for now, if you are in or around Sendai and up for having a fun night out while contributing a few thousand yen toward assisting needy students and other worthy causes, please come by this Friday!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Thanks, everyone!

Just a quick note to thank the people of Vancouver, British Columbia, who at a club fundraiser yesterday raised several hundred dollars for earthquake relief charities.  Well done, everyone, and special thanks to Ms. June Fukumura for her role in organizing the event and distributing the money!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

A Few Quick Tidbits

I'll have a longer post with detailed updates on our latest fundraising and aid efforts in the next few days, but in the meantime we'd like to share a few things with you.  The first is is a scan of a Japanese newspaper article on recovery efforts in Minamisanriku which focuses on Tokura Elementary School, one of the schools your donations have helped:

And here is a card we received from the students at that same school thanking us for our assistance:

Things have slowed down somewhat of late, with life getting back to normal for many people outside the tsunami zone, but for people in places like Minamisanriku normality is still a long way away.  Thanks to your donations it's a bit closer than it was, however, and we want you to know how grateful people are for the help they've received.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Shizugawa HS Supply Deliveries

In addition to the previously mentioned deliveries of school supplies to hard-hit elementary schools in Tagajo and Shiogama, we were also able recently to deliver 900 notebooks and other school supplies to Shizugawa High School in the town of Minamisanriku, Miyagi.  Along with the stationary, we also delivered hand-written messages of encouragement contributed by Jane Lightburn and her students in the Liberal Arts Division of Aichi Gakuin University in Aichi-ken.  Many thanks to Ms. Lightburn and company for their contribution - psychological support is as important as material aid in helping people recover.

Although we don't have photos of the Tagajo and Shiogama deliveries, you can check out photos from this delivery here.

Friday, May 27, 2011

School Supplies Project Update

Apologies for the long delay between updates.  It has taken some time for our initial projects to bear fruit and as school has resumed here we have less time for things like volunteer activities.  But at last, there is some news to report - we've distributed the first batch of school supplies we purchased with your donations to students at Urato Elementary School in Shiogama, Miyagi, as well as students at several elementary schools in the neighboring town of Tagajo.  Unfortunately, I don't have pictures yet, but our colleagues Yoko and Shoko report that the children were very happy and wanted to thank all of you who helped them.

We have also arranged to deliver some school supplies to students who attended Togura Elementary School
in Minamisanriku.  As anyone who has followed the news closely knows, Minamisanriku was perhaps the hardest hit of any town in Japan, and many people there literally lost everything but the clothes on their backs - helping these people is more important than anything.  The supplies should be delivered early next month.

Hopefully I will be able to update the Flickr page with photos soon.  Keep checking for new updates.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Fundraising/Initial Project Update

Tonight, Kyle and I met with the Japanese members of MEESA for our weekly meeting.  A number of things were discussed, but here's a rundown on points of interest for people who have contributed or donated:

1.)The Teachers For Japan initiative has just in the past day or so cleared US$10,000 in donations collected, which has come from small individual donations from people in five different countries.  About US$1500 worth has already been spent on our initial project.  We hope in the near future to be able to increase this amount via greater exposure.

2.)Said $1500 has been used to purchase 350 sets of basic school supplies for elementary school students in Miyagi.  The sets were purchased at discounted prices from local suppliers and also include some donated items.  We would like to thank the following companies/individuals for their generous assistance in helping to obtain these supplies:
Daiichi Progress Inc.
Seisa Kokusai High School
Ms. Eri Osada

The sets comprise rulers, pencils, pens, erasers, notebooks, pencil leads, and protractors, all of which are necessary items for elementary school students to have.  We hope to donate them shortly to needy students at an elementary school in one of the tsunami-stricken areas of Miyagi, and to tell you more about the specific students your donation has helped when we do so.

3.)We have also accepted donations of some additional school supplies/educational items including pencil cases and three boxes of books.  These will also be donated to local schools.

4.)We have set out several additional projects on which to spend the remainder of the money, including earmarking donations to schools to fix particular problems the government reconstruction effort may not cover and identifying and assisting needy kindergarten students with tuition costs.  More information will be forthcoming on these projects as they develop.

I will post more updates, including photos and videos, to the blog, Facebook page, YouTube channel, etc. over the next few days.  Please keep checking in!


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The "PayPal Is Displaying In Japanese" Problem

We've had numerous reports of the PayPal page coming up in Japanese when people click on the button on the website to donate, and after much inquiry we think we have identified the problem.  I will be putting my limited HTML and web design skills toward attempting to resolve it shortly and hopefully by tomorrow it will no longer be an issue.  In the meantime, if you see a bunch of Japanese text pop up on the PayPal page, don't fret - you're in the right place as long as you have the following at the top of the page:


To the right of this text should be a small putton that says either the name of your language or "日本語".  This is a button to toggle between languages and if you click on it you should be able to change the language in which donation instructions are displayed.



Fixing this problem has turned out to require some rather annoying and roundabout HTML coding which might take a bit of time to get working correctly. In order to avoid bringing down the channels for donations that DO work, I'm going to avoid updating the site until I get all the bugs worked out - hopefully that will be within the next few days. - Greg