March 18, 2011 One week after the earthquake and tsunami, so many in Japan are struggling with the devastating loss of loved ones while facing extraordinary challenges such as aftershocks, food shortages, electricity blackouts and the instability of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The Japan YMCA, an established non-profit with a strong infrastructure and experience with earthquake response, has been providing support to those in the hardest hit areas.
Since the disaster, the global YMCA Movement has pledged its solidarity and financial aid. To date, in the U.S. alone, more than $100,000 has been raised through YMCA of the USA’s Japan YMCA Relief Fund. If you have not done so already, please consider making a donation today. There is great need and 100 percent of all donations to this fund will help the Japan YMCA respond to impacted communities and the most vulnerable populations.
Mr. Shigeru Shimada, National General Secretary of the National Council of YMCAs of Japan, provided the following update on March 18, 2011:
Thank you very much for your prompt response and prayers for us from all over the world. A week has passed since the earthquake happened on March 11th.
Over 6,000 people were killed and 17,000 people are missing. 400,000 people have evacuated. Because of the accident of power station caused by earthquake, many people also have been evacuated from the affected area. The temperature goes below its freezing point in the affected area, but the lifeline has not recovered yet.
The distribution of relief supplies has not gone well because of the interrupted road in the affected area and lack of gas for cars. Many factories also don’t work in the affected area. Although we formed a special task force in Tokyo, the work has been disrupted often because of continuing aftershock and blackout. We sent a general secretary of Kyoto YMCA to the affected area on 14th – 15th, and we had an emergency meeting with local YMCA’s general secretaries to discuss the future plans on the 16th.
Japan YMCA will send two directors who had experience of emergency relief on March 19th, and they will bring relief supplies and discuss the future plans with the staffs in the affected area.
Sendai YMCA in the most affected area has accepted the refugees at school and provided meals in the yard of their school right after earthquake. Other YMCAs also have accepted the refugees from the area affected by accident of power station, supported the people at public building, and provided recreation for children. YMCAs in Japan unite together to raise the fund and to overcome this tragedy.
We thank all again and especially to the Asia and Pacific Alliance of YMCAs for all the coordination, and we appreciate continuous support and solidarity.
At this time, financial donations remain the most efficient and effective way to help the Japan YMCA respond to this crisis. 100 percent of the contributions to the Japan YMCA Relief Fund donated through World Service will be designated for the Japan YMCA. All donations to World Service are administered by YMCA of the USA, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization chartered by the state of Illinois. All contributions are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law and are acknowledged in writing.
You can give to the Japan YMCA Relief Fund:
Online: via YMCA of the USA’s secure World Service web site at https://donate.ymca.net/world-service-donation.aspx (Please note: When donating online, it is important to specify “Japan YMCA Relief Fund” in the “Comments/special instructions” box at the bottom of the online donation page to ensure immediate designation of your contribution.)
By Phone: Call the YMCA of the USA International Group at (800) 872-9622
By Mail: Send a check (payable to YMCA World Service with “Japan YMCA Relief Fund” noted in the memo line) to YMCA of the USA, attention YMCA World Service, 101 North Wacker Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60606
The YMCA of the USA International Group will work closely with the World Alliance of YMCAs, the Asia and Pacific Alliance of YMCAs and the Japan YMCA to respond to the immediate and long-term needs of those impacted by this disaster. For more information, call the YMCA of the USA International Group at (800) 872-9622 or send an email to email@example.com.
YMCA of the USA would like to thank all who have donated to the Japan YMCA Relief Fund as well as those who have shared the Japan Y’s efforts with their friends, families and communities. This outpouring of support is deeply felt by our colleagues in Japan as they respond to this tragedy and look towards rebuilding their communities.
YMCA of the USA International Group
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