Monday, March 14, 2011

What I am feeling now...

Thank you all for your kind and very supportive comments and emails! I am still getting lots of emails today about how you all are very happy for me that I got a hold of my sister. I can't tell you how grateful I am to read all of them, and most of them were people I have never met before.

Although, I know my family is alive, they are still not out of the woods yet. My sister lives in an area that is about less than 80km away from the nuclear power plant, and the news I just saw said that they have detected some radiation in the prefecture next to them. I don't know how the wind will blow and carry the radiation, but I am very worried for them.

I asked if they could escape to somewhere, but pretty much all the public transportation in the area is disabled right now, and they only have a little bit of gas in the car. There is no guarantee where and when they can buy more gas.

Meanwhile, I have been researching ways to help the people in Japan. I have thought about starting a fundraiser myself, but then, I have never done such a thing before. Also, I guess if I try to set up something like that I have to deal with tax laws, and how I am going to get the money (international laws and such), and where to take it. I have no clue.

So, I looked around to see some other options. If I am donating the money to an organization that already exists, I have to make sure that they are not a scam (sadly, there are people out there to use times like this to get gain for themselves), and that the money will be used effectively.

The organization that I trust is humanitarian services run by the church I attend. My husband helped me to do some digging, and he talked to a person from humanitarian service. Their overhead is very low, compared to other organizations out there (some of the places the overhead is 30% and such, Red Cross is 14%, and our church's humanitarian services is only 2%. UPDATE: I just learned that the church absorbs all the overhead costs and that 100% of the donations given directly to the humanitarian services goes to help those in need.

Also, they are known for their services during the Haiti's and Chili's aftermath, and making a difference in people's lives.


The only thing is that I don't care for is that I can't specify where I want the money to go. The humanitarian services will use the money where it is needed the most. Right now I can't think of anywhere else that needs a lot more help than Japan. Considering their reliability, their past reputation, and low overhead, I believe that their organization will do the most good with the resources donated. The last thing I want is the money to get lost in the system and not help anyone at all.

I have a deep desire to help people in Japan as well as my family. I just couldn't get on with my life and do nothing knowing that so many people are suffering where I used to live. I have no idea where my friends are and how they are doing.

I lived not too far from this area

I have the Japanese channel, and I watch more detailed news. There were some survivors that were interviewed and shared their stories. Their stories are so raw, sad and heart wrenching.


At 0:41 you will the tsunami wash over the area I used to go visit my friends.


Many of you asked me if you can do anything to help. So I ask you to consider donating and helping out the people of my country. If you already have an organization you believe in, that's great, please donate any time, items, or money to them. Also, there is no such a thing "too small" of a contributions. Every dollar helps.



Please add this grab button to the sidebar of your blog, let's get as many people involved as we can!

I still worry about my family in Japan. At the same time, I think about my role in the tragedy. This event is just too close to my heart, I have to do something.

One thing I thought of is that I have a voice. In over two and half years, I created a small spot in this blog-land. You guys have been so kind and supportive of my craft/sewing adventures. This time I ask of you to help me to help those in need in my country. I know it is a tough time for a lot of people financially, if you can help with donations, please spread the word out about what I am trying to do.

I know I can count on you.

Lots of love

Sachiko

78 comments:

amy smart said...

Sachiko - I'm so sorry for all that your family and homeland has been through. Thank you so much for this opportunity to give. I've been wondering where and how to help - you're right, this is the perfect place to donate. Our family is anxious to help. Thanks for spreading the word. Love and best wishes to you and your loved ones.

Bubble and Bean said...

I too lived in Sendai but for only one year as an English teacher. My heart is breaking for all of the lovely people who I spent time with and shared wonderful experiences with. Today was a day of tears as the full gravity of the situation hit me. I wish the people of Sendai and surrounding area love and safety. Please know your sister and family and all those affected are in my thoughts. Take care...

Michelle@Somedaycrafts said...

That video is so tragic. So glad to hear your family is alive and hopefully will continue to do well. I will put the button on my blog tomorrow. Good for you for doing something.

Laura said...

I am very glad for you that your family is alive and well. The news from Japan is heartbreaking. Like you, I am looking for the place that my donation will do the most good. For our family, that means donating to a charity where my husband's work will match the donation! We feel very lucky that he works for an organization that offers that.

Sachiko said...

Laura-

That is awesome that his work matches donations. Please go ahead and give to the charity that they match. I want people to donate where they will feel that it will do the most good. Thank you so much for your generosity.

-Sachiko

Liz R. said...

I am pretty sure if u donate on the donation slips at church u can specify where u want the money to go to , maybe as "other". We have some friends who work for the church humanitarian aid in Africa and they were just saying that a specific amount of money had been donated to a specific project and they HAD to use that money for that relief effort (even though they technically had enough money for what they needed).

Sachiko said...

Liz R.

Thank you for the heads-up. I didn't know that. I'm new at this and just trying to help as much as possible. If people can specify on the payment slip or write something on the memo field on the web donation form, that might work. I'll call and check with them tomorrow.

-Sachiko

BonjourRomance said...

Glad your family is well, and you were able to talk. Will continue to pray.
All my best,
Mimi

nette said...

Dear Sachiko,
I already grabbed your button and put it on my sidebar. Also I am trying to raise some money through a blouse raffle on my blog. The money goes to global giving's 'Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund'.
All my thoughts go to Japan. I hope for the best for you and all your loved ones.

http://nettevivante.blogspot.com/2011/03/japan-quake-appeal-raffle-please-share.html

Humble Homemaker said...

Thank you for sharing. Like yourself I spent last night searching for ways to donate directly to japan through the lds church but came to the same conclusion as you that it is probably best to just donate to humanitarian aid. Now I have read your post I think it is an even better idea. I will donate today. Thanks for sharing and my thoughts are with you.
Humble Homemaking

littlechrissy said...

Sachiko I am sending safe and happy thoughts to your family and all those in Japan during this tough time. My brother-in-law is currently over there working in the media and is about to head to Sendai. We're very concerned about him travelling north given the current state of things. We are all united in this tragedy, whether through personal experience, knowing someone who is affected or purely through being human. With love.

Humble Homemaker said...

p.s. Grabbed the button and made a special post linking back to you. I hope you get tons of support! :)

rochelhorowitz said...

I am so happy for you that you were able to contact your sister! I cant imagine what that was like when you didnt know if she was okay or not. Hope to hear good news that your friends are okay as well....

Sachiko said...

littlechrissy-

I hope your brother-in-law is ok. You are right, the time like this, we all need to unite and help.

Laurie said...

I donated money to both the American Red Cross specifically for Japan and LDS Humanitarian services. I was like you in that I really wanted it to be used for Japan,so I decided I would just pray when I donated it that it would be directed there. I am very comfortable donating to LDS Humanitarian after taking a tour of their headquarters in SLC and seeing how they use their donations.

Another charity I am very comfortable donating to is the Mennonite Central Committee; www.mcc.org. I read an article on charities which had them in the top 10 charities for using the donations to directly help the victims of disasters. There is a large Mennonite community here in Iowa and I have great respect for them.

k a t y said...

Sachiko,
The church humanitarian aid organization absorbs all overhead costs, so in actuality 100% of donations received go to those in need! Wonderful news! Your family is in our prayers!
katy

Marie said...

Sachiko, I have added a post on relief efforts on my blog, I have added your button to my sidebar and I am contacting some fellow bloggers to hopefully spread the word.

And you, your family and the people of Japan continue in my prayers.

claudia b said...

Sachiko, please know you and your family, and the people of Japan continue to be in my thoughts and prayers. What a horrible tragedy!

Ruthie said...

Sachiko-- Please know that you and yours are in our prayers.

Best,

Ruthie

Elena said...

I've read your blog for a while, but don't think I've ever commented. I love all the little projects you do. You are certainly talented. My heart is breaking for your sister and family and all of Japan. Please know my prayers are with them and you.

Anj said...

Sending love and prayers to you and yours.
Bless your hearts!

Bird said...

Hi Sashiko, I feel for you and your loved ones!

I also found another site here for donations: http://www.forjapanwithlove.com/

Just thought you'd like to know as every little helps...

My prayers and thoughts with you and all those in Japan..

Taker care,
Bird

satoko said...

さちこさん、はじめまして。ご家族がご無事で良かったです。それでもまだまだ心配がつづきますね。私の家族は関西と九州なのでとりあえず大丈夫なのですけれど、それでもたくさんの被害にあった方々の事を考えると本当に心が痛みます。
ユタにお住まいなのですよね?もしかしてどこかでお会いしているかもしれませんね。
さちこさんのご家族の事、祈っています。

Whatever Dee-Dee wants said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your family and all they have been through.
I am a big fan of the LDS Humanitarian Services. They do so much and really take nothing in return. Sometimes our ward/stake organizes clothing drives or emergency relief kit drives to be sent to specific places. I wonder if they are doing one for Japan, I will have to look into this. Maybe all of us that are LDS could suggest it to our stake presidents?

Artimide said...

Hi Sachiko, I'm glad to hear that your family is OK. I hope the problems with the nuclear reactors are solved without any further problems.
I don't know if you heard of the Google Person Finder. It was developed by Google after the Haiti earthquake to help people find information about their loved ones. This is the link for it http://japan.person-finder.appspot.com/
I hope it can be useful.
Best wishes.

Twins Squared said...

Sachiko, I can't even imagine what you are feeling right now. We lost our home in Hurrican Andrew in Florida in the 90's. That was such an overwhelming experience for me and my family and is NOTHING compared to thi! I will be posting this button on my blog.
http://twincess.blogspot.com/

SueMurph said...

Sachiko,
Many prayers are with you and your family during this incomprehensible tragedy. Thank you for passing along your fund raising thoughts. I woke this morning with this topic first in my mind. Just an FYI: Red Cross did let us specify donation direction during Katrina efforts. May God bring peace and comfort to all those affected and "May He hold them in the palm of His hand!"

Mandy said...

I found your blog through Disney's (Ruffles & Stuff) blog and am so sorry for all the suffering going on in your country right now. I was surprised to hear that you are LDS! My husband served a mission in Fukuoka and we both speak Japanese (or used to...we've gotten rusty:)). We've donated to the LDS Humanitarian fund and also sent 12 quilts to our local Bishop's Storehouse to be flown to Japan. On the LDS Humanatarian website it says that there's an urgent need for blankets so we hope that will help a little. All our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time.

Gwenaelle said...

This is the first time ever I post a comment, we have friends in Japan too and are very worried, but glad that your family is ok. I will add the button for Japan relief to all my messages. Take care and good luck

Vernie and Tony said...

Sachiko, I will donate this Sunday to the Humanitarian program and specify Japan as the recipient. I am very overcome with the devastation and suffering that has taken place. I get very emotional when I hear or read about it and can only imagine the hurt and worry that you are feeling. My prayers continue to be with you and the nation of Japan. HUGS!

Deborah said...

I am so blessed to know you and to be able to count you as my friend, Sachiko. You are a light, someone who actively tries to make the hardships around us better. Thank you for your inspiring words and kind heart. We will definately be donating, as well as keeping you and your country in our prayers.

kirstin & jordan said...

Thank you so much for your updates and for researching ways for us to help.
We will continue to pray and pray for the relief and recovery efforts in Japan and specifically for your family.
Are you able to talk to them regularly? Please let them know that we are praying and praying!
Also, if you hear of other ways we could help out, let us know!

Caroline @ Atelier Caroline said...

Dear Sachiko, I was heartbroken to hear your family is in harms way. I will be happy to donate handcrafted items to be auctioned off or raffled if you know such event is being organized. I'm also posting about this in my blog and post any information update you have.
This is a terrifying situation and it makes us human feel the fragility of life. Sending warm thoughts and prayers for the safeguarding of your loved ones and all the victims

Caroline

Tori said...

I cry every time I see pictures from this horrible event. If it effects me, a person who has never been to Japan, this bad I can only imagine how you are feeling. The people of Japan and their loved ones are in my prayers. You will now be too.

Sonia said...

Hi Sachiko,
Sendai is my father's birth place and I have many relatives living there too. Only today I've received some news from them and Thank God they are all alive.
I'm glad you found your family well too.
My prayers are for all the people in Japan. It is such a tragedy...

Michelle L. said...

Hi, Sachicko - just wanted to say hi and that I am thinking about everyone like you, all who love Japan and are so devastated and scared. Thanks for this link, so great to connect people to a way we can help. Love, Mich

SewHappyGeek said...

Sachiko, I am so sorry to hear about your family. I asked my engineering hubby and mates, and the radiation that is getting out is only a minute amount compared to what a human needs to get sick, short or long term. Unless the core cracks, they will almost certainly all be totally 100% safe. The press makes it sound like chernobyl is happening over there, but it's just scaremongering! Which is disgusting considering how bad the facts are. But don't worry too much about the power station if it's intact, honest!

The Nichols Fam said...

Thank you for this post and for the tips on how to help. We are praying for your homeland. We are praying that the people would feel the Lord's comforting hands holding on to them.

Ruth said...

My heart breaks at all the sad stories coming out of Japan. I am glad to hear that your family is ok. I will keep all of you in my prayers. I can imagine your heart is breaking for the devastation in your home country.

Ruth

Sarah @ Sarahndipities said...

I added your button to my blog. My husband and I aded a 'donation to Japan' to our tithing slip on Sunday...I'm so grateful to be a part of the LDS church at times like this.

I'm so glad that you're family is well,and hope they will be in an even better place soon!

Much love to you and yours!

Betsy said...

I am so glad to hear that your family is okay; we all hope and pray for their continued safety. It's heartbreaking to watch the news each day, but nothing can compare to the suffering that is going on all around the area. I will spread the word and have been looking for a way to donate.

Vivienne @ the V Spot said...

I am certain my church will be putting together relief efforts, but if for some reason they don't, I will be donating to the fund. Praying for your, your family and Japan.

Lisa C said...

I've only recently discovered your blog, but this post was very touching to me. I'm so sorry to hear about your family in Japan.

I'm LDS, too, and I didn't realize there was a way to donate directly to the humanitarian services online! Sadly, my dollars went to Red Cross because I didn't know better. I knew the church had a great humanitarian program, but I just wanted to get money to Japan as fast as I could. Considering how they operate and that all money donated goes to the cause, this will be my go-to donation service from now on.

I'm going to put your button on my blog and put this post as my facebook status.

Sachiko said...

Lisa C-

Oh, that's ok Lisa! I am so grateful that you care so much about people in Japan and sent your money to them. The Red Cross will also do great work there. Really, people like you make a difference. :)

Sachiko

Shema John said...

Dear Sachiko, your country and your loved ones are in our constant prayers, that what the evil one caused for destruction would be healed and made whole miraculously by our dear Lord Jesus. Am confident that all our prayers could make things turn around, the losses minimized and miracles of survival experienced by every indvidual and family. Nothing is impossible with our Lord. We will pray and believe and refuse to accept any more disasters in Japan. The good Lord wouldnt want any more of his beloved people to be lost and suffering. It breaks HIS heart too. Our faith and prayers can change the situation around.

Queen of Dreamsz said...

Sachiko,

I'm so glad I've come across your blog. I've been keeping up with the news on Japan since this horrible event occurred.

I have to agree that your humanitariun group would surely be allocating money to Japan right now so I think that was a good choice.

It's truly heart wrenching to see and hear the updates as the days pass. I do hope your family stays safe. I'll keep up with your posts to follow their progress as I'm sure you'll keep us informed.

I'm adding your button to my blog to help spread the word.

Hugs to you and your family,
Stephanie ♥

steelebjm said...

I stuck your button on my blog! If the blogosphere is any indication, people's hearts and prayers are with the people of Japan. I know my heart aches for them, and hopefully it is some comfort to know of all those who care.

Lorraina said...

I am so sorry for what happened in Japan and my heart goes out to all the people suffering there and to those like you seeing this happen to your homeland. I will be happy to donate and pray for the people and animals in distress.
I don't know how to put the button on my blog, sorry about that.
Love and best wishes to you and your loved ones.

Heather said...

Sachiko my heart is breaking for you and your family on mainland Japan. My family has lived on Okinawa for last 3 years and we love it here. The Japanese people are amazingly friendly and kind. We were blessed enough to not be effected by the disasters. We have been doing everything we can to help those on mainland - donating to Red Cross, Making hygiene kits with our church, and donating goods to be taken up North. Living here has felt more like home thanks to help of our Japanese neighbors and for that I am truly grateful. We will continue to do everything we can to help them and praying that the recovery may be quick.

Jodi said...

Sachiko, I have a dear friend, Mizue (Kim) who is still trying to get in touch with her sister, BIL, brother, pregnant niece and nephew. They live in Sendai! Please pray that she will make contact soon. We tried the internet last night but no luck. I appreciate all you're trying to do to help, and am happy you found your sister!!! Thanks for "listening." My heart is so heavy with worry for them, especially for Kim, she's like a mother to me! She's lived in the States since 1960 when she married an American and he brought her here. She's gone back every two years to visit her family. Her husband passed away a year ago. Please pray!

Sandy Ang said...

It's such a difficult time and I feel for you and your family. It was horrific seeing the devastating pictures on TV. Sending wishes of strength, resilience and hope.

To Sew With Love said...

same here... I have donated to red cross but felt that i can do more... I am holding a donation drive in my shop and will be donating 100% of the sales to japan earthquake relief... I have a sister and relatives who live in Japan and I am suffering with them and the rest of all the people who are in Japan right now...

To Sew With Love said...

by the way, I am also grabbing your button and will display it on our group blog... thanks...

Jeanine said...

Sachiko~My heart goes out to you and all the people in Japan. I will be donating through my church organization called IDES (International Disaster Emergency Services.) We can specify Japan.
Keeping you and your family and Japan in our prayers.

I am Just One Mom said...

My prayers are that together we can soothe and warm the hearts of the Japanese people. Missouri Star Quilt Co is collecting quilts to send via LDS Humanitarian Services (my fav charity.) Sending 3 quilts on Saturday!
It is indeed a small world. Blessings to you and your friends & family.

Laura at Ms. Smartie Pants said...

Sachiko,

I have to say how sorry I am this is happening to your country. I can't even imagine what they must be feeling. But I also have to apologize for our "American way". Some of the news articles I have seen are so insensitive, worrying about how this will effect us, as consumers. Our "problems" will be nothing compared to what the Japanese people are going to be going through. Praying for you and your extended family and country!

Anna said...

My prayers are with you, your family, and the people of Japan.

Michell @Girl in Air said...

Thank you for this post...I have been looking for a way to help...I'm a new follower and putting this button in my sidebar

Shannon said...

Sachiko, I am so sorry for the heartache this disaster has caused you and your family. My husband and I have been praying for the people in Japan every day and now we have someone specific to pray for.

We, too, are LDS and will be donating to the humanitarian fund for Japan. Our prayers and thoughts continue to go out to you and your family. I will be adding your button to my blog.

greenTXmom said...

Sachiko~ I can not even imagine the anxiety and fear you are feelign right now. It is so far away that I know most of us feel distant from it but want to help in any way we can. This sort of tragedy is so overwhelming...and it must be heart wrenching for you. Thank God that your family is alive and I will keep your fmaily inmy prayers that they will find a safe way to get away from the radiation. I will definitely be looking into ways to help and will spread the word.

Carolyn said...

Sachiko,
I'm so happy to hear you spoke to your sister. We all continue to pray for the people of Japan. I don't have family in Japan - my grandparents moved and lived here and my parents were both born in the U.S. But my heart is breaking for all those affected by this tragedy. You are loved in blogland and we are all thinking of you and your family.
carolyn - homework

Carmie of the Single Nester said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your loved ones. I have been heart-broken and will contribute just as I did for Haiti. We will all get through this. We are one.

Carmie of the Single Nester said...

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I contributed to Haiti and I most certainly will do the same for Japan. It is hard to know where the money is going so thank you for the explanation!

DJ Rose said...

I'll add the button to my blog. :)

-Bess- said...

Praying for your family in Japan & all those in Japan & you & your family. It's so easy to see the images on tv & feel at once like you must do something & that you have no idea what to do (but pray) but you want to do more because your heart aches deep, like fly to Japan & dig through rubble searching for miracles, feed the hungry, pass out clothes, & sit & hold little children & old alike as they cry & you do, too. Thanks for this post, I've added your button to my sidebar. We can do something...& we must.
Love,
-Bess-

Cherie said...

Sachiko, we are praying for everyone in Japan and for those who live elsewhere with family there. Best wishes.

Bethany {3SonsPlus1} said...

Still praying!

oldweller said...

Thank you so much for the idea to donate to Humanitarian Services of the LDS. I am so grateful for you and your husbands research. I usually am too nervous to donate money, but I have donated today and I am feel so good about it. I continue to pray for your family and friends and for others in Japan. Our cousin is currently serving a mission in Japan. She is going to complete her mission even though the church is sending most missionaries home. She is a brave girl we love her.

oldweller said...

Thank you so much for the idea to donate to Humanitarian Services of the LDS. I am so grateful for you and your husbands research. I usually am too nervous to donate money, but I have donated today and I am feel so good about it. I continue to pray for your family and friends and for others in Japan. Our cousin is currently serving a mission in Japan. She is going to complete her mission even though the church is sending most missionaries home. She is a brave girl we love her.

Christine @ craftygeordi.blogspot.com said...

Hi Sachiko. I have already made a donation to Salvation Army with a note that it is for Japan....Your button is now on my blog. I hope that your family remains safe.

emma lahti :) said...

I am a Mormon too. I am praying for the victims of the tsunami and hope you and your family are OK. Don't forget: When life knocks you down to your knees, you are in the perfect position to pray...

AliLilly said...

I'm so sorry for what you and all your family is going through. I have been praying earnestly and will continue to do so. Even my sweet 2 yr old says a prayer for Japan every night. Just want you to know your in my prayers. I'm posting your button on my blog and sharing this on facebook. God Bless.

Megan said...

snagged your button! :)

Sonja said...

Sachiko, *HUGS* I am so relieved to hear your family is alive and I'm keeping positive thoughts that they find a safe distance from the reactor soon.

My friend Ayumi who blogs at Pink Penguin : ayumills.blogspot.com
posted this person finder : http://japan.person-finder.appspot.com/?lang=en

Maybe it can help you find news of your friends.

I donated to Save the Children via this paypal page: https://www.paypal-donations.com/pp-charity/web.us/campaign.jsp?cid=-12

Keeping your family and friends in my thoughts :)

V and Co. said...

hey sachiko! i linked back to this post on my blog. i've been thinking a LOT about you lately! i am so relieved you were able to get in touch with your family!!! miss you!!

'LUSH' said...

Praying also. Donated previous to visiting your blog! I am glad I had the opportunity to read your story!

=0)jessica said...

i have a good friend who is Japanese, i weep with her & all the people of Japan. i am sorry your homeland has been so devastated & i wish nothing but the best for your family. after researching LDS Humanitarian Aid i find that i cannot donate to a charity which has closed books. i have made a very generous donation thru the Red Cross and my thoughts are with you.
peace & blessings.

Ophelia said...

I am very sorry about this tragedy.I wish with all my heart to visit Japan and know these wonderful people.I pray for Japan every night.Kind regards,
Norika

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