Wednesday, March 16, 2011

What I've done

Hi everyone! I have been keeping myself busy and doing everything I can think of to help the people in Japan. That way I don't slip into a state of sadness and depression in my mind.

There was an earth quake on Thursday night, and I didn't know if my sister was ok until Saturday. When I heard her voice, I was extremely happy and joyful! Then, what came next was the radiation scare... I am still worried about that. The last several days have been such an emotional roller coaster.

I was able to talk with my sister and mother yesterday. They still haven't received any supplies from anywhere and the food is running out. I could hear my nieces fighting over a piece of bread in the background...

Every time I eat or drink, I think about them. How often I take "normality" for granted? The things I used to do on autopilot became reminders for how much I am blessed daily.

But when I think about the people in Japan who are affected by this, my struggle with emotion is nothing compared to what they must be going through. I thought that, "Right now, I need to suck it up and do something to help them".

Besides writing a post about donating to Humanitarian Services, I made a bunch of fliers yesterday. The fliers pretty much contained the same massage that I posted on the blog but shorter. I went to some local businesses, the kids’ martial arts studio, library, and a couple quilt stores to spread the word. People are so nice, compassionate and willing to help. They let me leave the fliers with them.

I especially want to thank people at Fedex Kinkos in Orem. When I went there to make copies of the fliers, their machines were down, and the lady told me that she can make the copies for me in the back. A while later, she came out and asked me, "Is your family still there?" When I said yes and explained why I am doing what I am doing she told me they don't want me to pay for the copies. The other workers too, they are so concerned about the people in Japan. They were so kind and sincere.

I wasn't expecting that type of kindness at all, tears started filling my eyes and I was crying in the middle of Kinkos. I wish I could just shut off my dumb tear ducts, but emotion is running wild now a days, I can't help it.

Thank you so much! I will be a loyal customer for Fedex Kinkos!

What surprised me the most yesterday was, many people thanked me for what I am doing. They all said the same thing..."I wanted to help but I didn't know how." I think we are all in the same boat. I don't know if what I am doing is really worth something, but I have to believe it indeed will make a difference.

Also, my sweet blogger friend Amy forwarded this email to me to share with the local people about quilt tying service you can go to;

Friends and family:

In an effort to aid those suffering in Japan, we have scheduled my church building this Saturday to tie quilts. The church humanitarian center has put out an immediate need request for twin and full sized quilts to help those suffering in the aftermath of the disaster and now extreme temperatures. If you have any time at all this Saturday, please consider coming even for an hour. If you have sheets, yarn, or batting, please consider bringing them to donate. If you can bring them to me ahead of time, I can mark and cut them to size, if not, I will do that there. I will also have a giveaway there as an added incentive (if the cookies and good "servicey" feelings aren't good enough). (Those who live outside Utah, I know you can't come, but could you pass this to anyone who would be willing to help in UT?)

Saturday, March 19th
8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
1075 W 1100 N (church building)
Orem, UT
Come tie quilts to be donated. If you have twin or larger sheets, batting, or yarn you can donate, bring those as well.
For more information, and a link to pass to friends, please go to my blog, here or our ward relief society blog, here.

Please pass this on to anyone you can. Friends, ward members, coworkers, etc.

If you know quilt or fabric shop owners (or avid quilters with a huge stash!) who would be willing to donate fabric or batting, please ask them.

This is obviously short notice, but also as obviously, an easy thing we can do to give service and help our sweet brothers and sisters. This would be a great opportunity to teach your older children about the power of timely service (even when it might be a little inconvenient).

Hope to see you there,


Reading emails like this gives me hope and motivates me even more. People are good, kind and care about each other. We can all contribute to help people in need in different ways.

I have decided to make a separate page for "Japan Disaster Relief". I will still write simple updates about my family here too, but on the separate page, I will write posts focused on that issue. When I update my post next time here, it will be my normal sewing/craft post. Creating sooths my soul, there is no way that I am stopping.

Please check both pages often. I know Japan will take a long time to recover from this horrible disaster. I mean, years and years to come. People who are affected by this need help for the long haul. So I thought it would be best to have a separate page for the cause.

Thank you everyone who commented on my previous posts, there is some information that will be useful to other people, please read those comments too.
Also, some of you are like me… worried about your loved ones in Japan. I hope you have peace in your heart and find a way reach out to those in need.




  1. I wish I were in Utah to come out and help tie quilts. I did however post it on my facebook to all of my Utah friends. I am sure many many people will come out to help. Best wishes.

  2. I've been keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. I as well, wish I lived in Utah to help.
    May the Lord comfort you in this time and protect your family oversees. I asked my readers to come visit and read your blog, and I know that many are keeping you in their prayers as well.


  3. Fundraiser through "Aloha for Japan" T-shirts - Ha...: "Fundraiser through 'Aloha for Japan' T-shirts - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL Home"

    This is one way people in Hawaii are helping. Others are having benefit concerts and finding other ways to help.

  4. Keeping you and your family in my prayers. I cannot even imagine how you must be feeling. I hope you are surrounded by love and support to help you through these tough times.
    Good luck with your fund raising for this very worthy cause.

    Please keep us posted on your family's well being.

    Janet xox

  5. You are doing a wonderful thing! And crying (even if it's at Kinko's) is not a bad thing - sometimes a small gesture of kindness makes you realize that there are a LOT of good people in the world. We all want to help in any way we can.

  6. Sachiko I read you blog on R.S.S. feed and your last couple of blogs have touched my heart. Especially the first time you got in touch with your sister after the quake and tsunami. Then again the next time and you mentioned hearing your nieces squabbling over the last bit of food. It is so hard for us to imagine this even in Australia, we see the photos and they strike us to the heart, but it seems so far away and we feel helpless. I have posted your message about the quilts on Face Book, but what could I do here in Australia?
    love and God bless you and your family Sachiko,

  7. I wish I could come help you tie quilts too. I do have fabric but it wouldn't get to you in time for your relief society gathering.

  8. I'm praying for the people of Japan!

    I can't imagine what they are experiencing! We people in america take alot of things for granted.

    I'm glad your family is alright and I pray that they'll get more supplies!

  9. "I don't know if what I am doing is really worth something, but I have to believe it indeed will make a difference."

    Anything you do in the name of goodness and love is always worth something :)

  10. This is another way that you could help.

  11. What a blessing that there are so many people out there that want to help. I can't even imagine going through what Japan has gone through and the hardships they have to endure. Japan will continue to be in my prayers.

  12. The Kinko story made me cry. I think you should forward it onto their headquarters so they know how great that store is.

    It's so inspiring to see the love of humanity.

  13. Sending good thoughts and prayers your way. I have posted some ways to help on my blog to help spread the word.

  14. My husband and I are going to donate at his work for the people of Japan. I feel so much for them, especially when Isee them on the t.v. standing in line patiently and the little children have a smile on their face in some of the shots. They are a remarkable people. I want to be like they are.
    My son works for fed ex here and they are so good to work for.
    I am keeping you in my prayers and thoughts.
    God Bless,

  15. your post gave me goosebumps!

  16. Thank you so much! I have been looking for ways to help out with the disaster relief efforts, and haven't found any other ways besides donation. I will totally be there and I have invited all my friends!

  17. I've created an event on facebook, so feel free to add yourself and invite your friends!

  18. Hi Sashiko, I found another great way for crafty people to help. A Japanese Quilt magazine has put the call out for handmade quilts which they will distribute to the people in need:

  19. Dear Sachiko,
    I follow your blog in my google Reader for about a year already and love your work, but also your strength of character. These days what I find most impressive given the challenges japanese people are facing, is the wonderful strength of character and sense of community they have despite the difficulties. It is a most compelling lesson for all of us to learn and follow when we have to overcome problems (hopefully not as serious as the ones in Japan now).

    I just want to tell you than people everywhere are trying to do their bits to help and support Japan in its hour of need. Here in Belgium we are making signature blocks that will be sent to Japan (see the following link: The french magazine Quiltmania has alo started an initiative and we'll be making blocks for them as well. I hope all these little bits help!

    Keep the good work and may we all come out of this trial stronger!

  20. Hang in there! Luckily when my family went through Katrina, they had family to stay with in Dallas. But they had 8 adults all staying under one roof for a long time, then in a trailer for over a year as they rebuilt. I worried very much about their mental health, and physical health when they returned. They did not have electricity for many months, and lacked basic services for a long time. Even my own family are anticipating that Japan will recover much more quickly than New Orleans. Be sure to take care of yourself so they don't worry about you :). I know it's hard to think positively now, but there are some good things that will come. We're much closer now, we know personally the kindness of countless strangers, we don't take little things for granted anymore, and I have much greater compassion for others in similar situations. It's so difficult. I hope you find peace and that your family finds some relief!

  21. Glad your family is safe. People round the world are sadden by this disaster. I joined a group of my Japanese friends residing in Penang to help raise fund for the victims.
    We held a charity event at Little Penang Street Market, the place where I sell my accessories every last Sunday of the month. We collected a lot of money. I have posted some pictures in my blog.


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