Japan Disaster Relief

Tomomi, who lives in England, sent me this poem shortly after the tsunami...
One of her friends in Japan was a victim of the tsunami attack, and her 8 month old baby girl was in critical condition when they got rescued and went to the hospital. The mother wrote this poem in Japanese, and Tomomi translated in English.

I am so happy to say that the baby woke up after several days. But, I can't imagine how many more people went through something similar and are still trying to find their loved ones, even today...

My desire to help the people in Japan keeps growing.

Thank you so much for your warm support, everybody…

Sora (her 8 month old daughter) is still unconscious.

Fight, fight for your life, Sora!!!

She has got a chest infection and her body temperature was 33 degree Celsius when she was carried into hospital.

Her body was really cold and she was grasping my clothes in her small hand with all the energy she had left..

The muddy water came a lot into her mouth too. It was really really terrifying …

People were wiped away next to us, and many people were screaming..
Everybody was so terrified and shouting for help

Sora was trying to live with all her effort. So many times she was unable to breath, but tried to cough and throw up the water…

With such a small body,,, She did her best to live, live , live, and she’s done that.

Although still in the hospital, I know!!! I know she will survive!
So please believe in her life.

Please pray for us to have another day to smile together again.

Can you please smile to me; call me “mummy!”?

You are mummy’s girl, aren’t you?

Don’t worry. Mummy is staying right next to you.

I lost my words to express the reality of what I see when I arrived at the hospital.

In a place like hell, it is a miracle we survived…
Many people are still waiting for help.
The sound of the helicopters is deafening. The sound hides our calls for help…

Please, please reduce the number of helicopters.

I tried to wave my hands to the helicopter for help, but it just went away without noticing us…

Now I know that was probably a TV reporter. But that… that action. Can you imagine how hard it knocks hope away from the victims??? I felt so weak to live…

Please… People in the media, if you can afford to go to the place, use the helicopters to bring food and water to the victims.

There are so many things you can’t see on TV.
The places you can see on TV are the better ones.

Still… We have so many people that are waiting for help in dark places without water and heat.

It’s really terrifying. It’s really cold….

It’s snowing outside.

Please help us...

Thank you to all who worry about us.
I heard you are trying to spread my message. I heard you went back to the past posts of my blog to see Sora’s smile. She smiles really beautifully, right?

Let’s smile. Let’s smile together again!

The numerous comments and messages cheer me up and support me.. They bring me tears. I know many people in other places are suffering at this hard time.
I really appreciate everybody who is trying to support us. Thank you…

It will be fine! We are strong!


This video really touched my heart.

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.



What I'm 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 40km 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



Hi everyone! Let me first tell you how much I feel loved and overwhelmed by your kindness and support through this experience. Thank you so much for your comments & emails. I am sorry that I can't return emails to all of you, but they all touched my heart and strengthened me through this difficult time.

Also I want to say thank you to all my friends, neighbors and family for being there for me and my family in so many different ways.

I have news! Good news!

I just got off the phone with my sister!!!

I heard the land line in that area was totally dead, if not, spotty at best. I kept calling desperately throughout the day. Wishing this time someone might answer... it didn't happen.

Tonight, while I was upstairs my husband called her house again (I had no idea he was doing that for me). And, it went through... the phone started to ring.

He said he heard a voice on the other end "Hello? Hello?" That's when I heard him screaming coming up stairs "Sachiko! Sachiko! Your sister is on the phone!!!"

I couldn't believe it. I took the phone and said "hello?!” Then I heard a familiar voice... "Sachiko?"

There were so much I wanted to say or ask but I started crying so hard and I wasn't making any sound that she could understand. We were so excited to talk to each other, but also afraid that the phone might cut off at any minute. We were talking so fast and furiously.

She told me that after the quake, she wasn't able to use her phone at all. Every now and then it made some noise (I think that was when we were trying to call) and when she pick up nothing happened. Tonight, the ring was different. She picked it up and the call went through. I believe in prayers, I believe in prayers couple with fasting. I am thankful to so many of you who prayed for us. I feel like I just witnessed a miracle. I can't tell you how happy I am right now!

She told me that her house is damaged a little bit here and there, but so far it's standing and seems to be ok. Although, there is no running water, electricity, no phone, none of that. She is thinking that when their food runs out, they are probably going to an evacuation center, because they can't buy food anywhere. With two little children, that must be hard. I wish I could just send stuff to her overnight.

Funny thing is, she doesn't know much about what's happening in her prefecture. She said, she gets to listen to the radio every now and then, but it’s so spotty, she can't get much the information. I know more about what's going on than she does. I told her what I have been seeing in the news. The area we used to drive around is under water, our friends homes are washed away, so many lives lost. She believed me, but still it didn't click to her. I don't know if I am making any sense, but without seeing it; it is hard to believe that much devastation.

I am so happy that my family is alive and ok, but there are so many people suffering in Japan. Please keep them in your prayers.

Through this experience, I learned a couple things. We need to show and tell people in our lives how much we love them and appreciate them whenever we get the chance to. You never know, that might be the last time you get to do so. There is no time to waste in fighting and holding grudges. Unexpected things happen and when we want to show love, it might be too late.

Another thing is, I need to be prepared. Our church advises us to have food storage (and some other items too). We have some but not nearly enough to sustain us through months at a time. Listening to my sister talk about food and how people would fight over toilet paper made me think even more about how much being prepared is very important.

Again, thank you all for being such a great support. I feel so blessed to have this community in blog-o- sphere, you guys are such nice, caring friends. Thank you!

I usually post link love today, but after the quake, I just couldn't do it all. I will post link love next week.

This week, I am off to bed. :) I can finally rest.


My heart is breaking.

As many of you know, an 8.9 earthquake hit Japan yesterday. One of the prefectures (states) that got hit hard and have a devastating number of death and missing people is Miyagi. That's where I am from.

I found out that my parents and one of my sisters is ok, but they can't contact my other sister and her family.

The phone is not working, and the only thing I can do is stare at the TV showing the horrible images. The road I drove with my friends by the sea is completely under the water, and some of my friends’ homes have been washed away.

I am keeping myself busy taking care of my kids and waiting, wishing to hear from my family that my sister is ok. My sister and I are very close.

Those of you, who called visited and emailed me, thank you so much. I am deeply touched by your kindness and support.

Many of you asked me if you could do anything...

Will you pray for us and for the people in Japan who are affected by this?

Thank you again for your kind words.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin