March 25, 2011 Mr. Shigeru Shimada, National General Secretary of the National Council of YMCAs of Japan, reports that the Y is making progress in several hard-hit areas. So many people remain in crisis, reeling from unimaginable loss and uncertainty. The Y’s support, especially of vulnerable populations like the young and elderly, offers hope, stability and a sense of security. Despite incredible circumstances and damaged facilities, Ys in the impacted areas provide survivors with a range of aid from basic needs (food and shelter) to Y services (day care and recreation programs for refugees of the nuclear threat zone).
Nationally, the Japan YMCA has deployed Y staff and volunteers to conduct needs assessments, support the immediate relief efforts and begin preparation for the long-term rehabilitation of impacted communities. Below is an excerpt from Mr Shimada’s update from March 22.
Iwate: The Morioka YMCA has been sending staff and volunteers in Miyako city, one of the severely damaged cities. They are working closely with the churches in the area. The Yokohama YMCA will send directors to help them for one week. Also, special mountaineers will be sent there.
Miyagi: The Sendai YMCA started to help people in the community by offering them a place to stay and offering food to the victims immediately after the Earthquake. Now sending a team to the affected areas for further investigation for possible activities.
Ibaragi: The Tsukuba YMCA is helping refugees from Fukushima Nuclear Reactor threat area by offering child care and recreation programs cooperated with social welfare council.
Tochigi: Offering elderly programs in eastern area of Utsunomiya and Haga area, which had damages in many houses. The YMCA is also planning to take care of the people evacuated from the Fukushima Nuclear Reactor problems. The YMCA had some damages in its buildings and facilities.
Tokyo: The Tokyo YMCA has been sending their staff to the affected areas and helping them plan the rescue activities. They collaborate with Y’s Men’s Club to deliver emergency commodity. Some of the YMCA buildings were damaged.
Kanagawa: The Yokohama YMCA has been sending their staff to the affected areas. Some of the YMCA buildings were damaged.
To date, individuals and Ys across the United States have donated almost $150,000 to the Japan YMCA Relief Fund. 100 percent of the contributions to this 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.
If you would like to help, please 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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