Ways you can help survivors in Northern Japan (a partial list)


United States

DEVASTATED — FUKUSHIMA, Japan – Train cars of the JR Joban Line are seen overturned and scattered in the town of Shinchi in Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan, on March 12, a day after a massive earthquake and tsunami devastated the area. Kyodo News photo

Bakesale for Japan
Saturday, April 2

A number of professional and amateur bakers, cooks, artists, artisans, and musicians from around the nation, and in Toronto, will offer their Bakesale for Japan event, featuring baked goods by professional and amateur bakers alike.

The bake sale, which takes place Saturday, April 2, aims to raise money for Peace Winds Japan, a nonprofit organization focused on minimizing the impact of natural disasters in the Asian Pacific. Peace Winds Japan currently helps distribute supplies to refugees in the cities that require the greatest amount of assistance.

Participants hope to fold a thousand paper cranes to send to Japan, and is soliciting donations for origami paper as well.

Drop in at 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at any one of the various participating vendors, which include: Pizzaiolo, 5008 Telegraph Ave., Oakland; SPQR, 1911 Fillmore St., San Francisco; and Roy’s Station, 197 Jackson St. in San Jose’s Japantown.

For a full list of participants, go to http://bakesaleforjapan.com.

For more information, e-mail bakesaleforjapan@gmail.com.


San Francisco
Kokua Japan San Francisco
Saturday, April 2

A group of citizens from the San Francisco Bay Area’s Hawaiian and Asian American communities have organized Kōkua Japan San Francisco, a fundraising concert in Japantown’s Peace Plaza from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, April 2.

“Kokua” means “help” in Hawaiian.

Donations to the JCCCNC-established Northern Japan Earthquake Relief Fund will be solicited at the free event, which will also raise funds through raffles of donated merchandise and T-shirt sales. The nonprofit Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival will collect the monies and deliver them to the JCCCNC.

The entertainment on the Peace Plaza stage, at Post and Buchanan streets, will be emceed by NBC Bay Area newsman and stand-up comedian Mike Inouye.

The lineup includes: Hawaiian music groups: Steven Espaniola & Friends, Faith Ako & Friends, Side Order Band featuring Chris Kamaka & Asa Young, ‘AHAmele ‘Ukulele Band, Ho’omana and JD Puli & Friends; Polynesian dance troupe Nā Lei Hulu I Ka Wēkiu (hula), Ke ‘Olu Makani ‘O Mauna Loa with kumu Meleana Manuel (hula), Ka Liko Pua O Kalaniākea (hula), Merahi O Tehani (Tahitian ‘ōte’a) and diverse musical acts:  Feelosophy (funk, soul), Project Gojira (fusion), Native Elements (reggae) and Stymie & the Pimp Jones Luv Orchestra (funk, rock, ska).

Local merchants have donated items for raffle prizes, while Hawaiian Airlines will fly in 200 special “Aloha” T-shirts for sale with the help of Hawai’i Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz’s office, which is coordinating Hawai‘i’s Aloha for Japan fundraising effort. The T-shirt, which uses a rising sun for the “o” in “Aloha,” will be sold at the concert for $25, from which the $15 profit per shirt will go to the JCCCNC’s relief fund.

For more information, contact Edgar and Leah Dang at (415) 346-7553, kokuajapansf@gmail.com or Steven Espaniola at kokuajapansf@gmail.com.


Nihonmachi Little Friends

Saturday, April 2
The Nihonmachi Little Friends (NLF) After School Program will hold a garage sale to raise money for Northern Japan earthquake and relief efforts. The sale will take place at NLF’s 1830 Sutter Street, location, in San Francisco’s Japantown, Saturday, April 2, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. All funds raised will go toward the Northern Japan Earthquake Relief Fund by the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California.

NLF, a Japanese bilingual, multicultural childcare organization based in San Francisco’s Japantown, fosters a sense of community in its students by participating in various community events, such as the Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival in April. NLF hopes that through the sale, they will promote community activism and help the children realize that, despite their young age, they have something to contribute.

According to NLF, the proceeds of the sale will be matched at 50 percent by the Minami Tamaki LLP law firm.

For more information, call (415) 922-8898.


Pleasanton, Calif.

Sakura Gakuen Japanese Language School

Sunday, April 10
Parents of Sakura Gakuen Japanese Language School students will hold a charity event Sunday, April 10 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 6650 Owens Drive, to raise money for Northern Japan earthquake and tsunami relief efforts.

Admission to the event, which will be held rain or shine, is free. It will feature a rummage sale, Japanese food, arts and crafts, children’s activities and raffle drawing. One hundred percent of the money raised will be donated directly to the Northern Japan Earthquake Relief Fund established by the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California (JCCCNC).

The word, kaeru, represents many meanings in Japanese. As a noun, it means frog, which jumps forward. As a verb, it stands for going back to where you belong to, thinking back memories, and returning favors.

For more information, contact Maiko Miley Douglass at (510) 579-3381 or maiko_douglass@yahoo.com.


Florin, Calif.

Florin Japanese American Citizens League
The Florin chapter of the JACL has established a local relief fund, with 100 percent of the donations going directly toward citizen relief efforts in the areas most affected by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. The Florin JACL will match dollar-for-dollar the first $1,000 donated. Checks should be made payable to “Florin JACL,” with “Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund” in the memo line, and mailed to: Florin JACL, P.O. Box 292634, Sacramento, CA 95829-2634. All donations will be acknowledged. The Florin JACL shall forward all funds to the fund the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California established.

For more information, contact Florin JACL Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund Manager Makiko Yamashita, a survivor of the 1995 Kobe Earthquake, at makikoyam@gmail.com.


San Jose

Wesley United Methodist Church
The Wesley United Methodist Church located in San Jose’s Japantown will join together to offer support for survivors through the United Methodist Committee on Relief. One hundred percent of donations will go toward disaster relief in Japan. Funds will be focused toward rebuilding lives and repairing the country, and donations via check may be sent to the church at 566 North Fifth St., San Jose CA 95112. Note “UMCOR Pacific Emergency” on the memo line.

For more information, call (408) 295-0367.


For tips on determining which charitable funds to consider supporting, visit the Better Business Bureau’s Standards for Charity Accountability: www.bbb.org/us/Charity-Standards, or call (703) 276-0100.

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