Since the massive earthquake and tsunami hit Japan's coast last month, we have called readers' attention to two fundraising endeavors, Webster University's "Hope for Japan" event on April 8 and the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS) relief effort. Both efforts were met with great success.
"Hope for Japan: Rebuilding Our Common Future"
Since the April 8 Webster University event, which included an expert panel discussion, arts and crafts sale, cultural activities and fundraising, the Japanese Student Association has raised $11,000 as of April 17, according to Noriko Yuasa, an associate professor at the school's art department, who works with the student association. People are still contributing to the effort, Yuasa wrote in a Webster University blog post. The money has already been put to work helping those in need, she said.
"So many people contributed in a variety of ways," Yuasa says in the post. "Whether it was emotional support, volunteering time, donating financially, donating art or other items to be sold, or attending the events--your support and contribution made the effort a success."
Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS)
Donors have given more than $1 million for Japan relief efforts since the earthquake and tsunami, stated a recent statement from the organization that houses LCMS' International Center in Kirkwood.
So far, LCMS has sent $300,000 to its Japanese Lutheran partners, the organization said in the statement. Japan Lutheran Emergency Relief is distributing shipments of rice, water, instant foods and bananas to disaster survivors along the coast of Miyagi and Fukushima Prefectures.
The group is a partnership of four major Lutheran church bodies in Japan, including the Japan Lutheran Church, an LCMS partner church body.
LCMS has pledged long-term support to Japan, and that support extends beyond food donations. In its statement, LCMS notes the need for financial aid for students who lost their parents in the disaster. Additionally, Japan Lutheran Emergency Relief will provide counseling to address the emotional needs of victims.
Endeavors are far from over. Recovery and rebuilding efforts in Japan are expected to be needed “a minimum of four to five years out,” said Rev. John Fale, LCMS World Relief and Human Care (WR-HC), interim executive director.
“The people of the LCMS have a heart for wanting to help people who are in need,” said Hans Springer, associate executive director for fund development with WR-HC, in the statement. “And we're thankful that they continue to respond.”
For more information and resources, visit www.lcms.org/help.