May 24, 2013
Written by Maggie Caldwell
Wednesday, 23 March 2011 12:12
As the fallout from this month’s catastrophic earthquake and tsunami in Japan continues to spread, Greenwich residents, including some of the town’s youngest, are mobilizing to help those in need.
On March 11, a record-breaking 9.0 earthquake and tsunami hit Japan, causing widespread destruction and resulting in the deaths of untold thousands of people. The destruction subsequently affected a number of nuclear power plants across Japan, leaving the already crippled nation to face a new threat.This Saturday, March 26, from 11 to 2, the Old Greenwich School is teaming up with the International School at Dundee (ISD) at the Old Greenwich Fire Station to hold a bake sale and craft event for Japan aid. Proceeds will be sent to the consulate general of Japan in New York, who will then forward it to the Japanese Red Cross, according to Donna Bass, an Old Greenwich School parent. A rain date is set for Sunday, March 27.
“Kids are hard at work making friendship bracelets, rice balls, baked goods, and the moms are busy making origami and jewelry boxes. Everyone is doing what they can,” Ms. Bass said in an e-mail.
Patricia Raneri, Old Greenwich School principal, said the idea for an event to benefit Japan relief was the brainchild of several students, former students and parents, but credited OG parent Kyoko Sorenson and former student Emma Gilson with making it happen.
“One of our family’s hometown is Sendai, which was hit,” Ms. Raneri said. “Fortunately the immediate family is fine, but certainly for all our families at OG... Anything we can do to make things easier as they clean up, rebuild and start over is tremendous.”
The outreach effort is in line with OG’s emphasis on community service, Ms. Raneri added.
The school’s Japanese families with other parent volunteers will also be teaching the children how to make origami. The students will each make two pieces of origami, one to sell and one to keep. Fifth graders will be selling the items next week at the school.
Other aid efforts
Greenwich residents across town and beyond are also aiding in Japan relief.
First Selectman Peter Tesei and Assistant Fire Chief Robert Kick have designated each of the firehouses in Greenwich as dropoff points and will be helping the American Red Cross to collect funds for the relief effort. Red Cross canisters are located at each station for donations in the form of cash or checks.
Last weekend, members of the Sound Beach Fire Department were able to raise $10,400 in just two days, according to Stanley Thal, president of the Sound Beach Volunteer Fire Department.
“The Greenwich firefighters ask for the help of our community as we try to provide much needed disaster relief to the people of Japan, who have suffered a tragedy of unimaginable proportions,” Mr. Thal said in an e-mail.
Earlier this week, John Frank, a Greenwich resident and vice chairman of Sidney Frank Importing Company of New Rochelle, N.Y., presented a check for $100,000 to Mary Young, CEO of the Greenwich Connecticut Chapter of the American Red Cross with a special earmark for the Japan Earthquake Relief Fund.
“Like the rest of the world, we too were horrified to see the results of the terrible earthquake in Japan. We wanted to quickly help the American Red Cross assist those in need,” said Mr. Frank in a prepared release.
Porricelli’s Market on Arcadia Avenue in Old Greenwich is collecting donations from customers with a promise to match a portion of every gift for Japan relief. (See page 18A for more information.)
Last week, the Greenwich-based American Pressed Bakery, which makes stroople waffle cookies, donated 100% of its sales at Porricelli’s to GlobalGiving’s Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund and continues to seek support online. Visit globalgiving.org for more information.
The Japan Society of Fairfield County, which has members in Greenwich, continues to collect contributions to provide immediate aid through the Japanese Red Cross Society. Greenwich resident and society member Harry Sakamaki has set up a fund to support the Japanese Red Cross in its efforts to provide emergency shelter and relief to the people left homeless in the wake of the disaster.
Mr. Sakamaki said 100% of the contributions he receives will go to the Japanese Red Cross. Checks should be made out to Japan Society of Fairfield County Inc., marked for Earthquake Relief, and sent to Harry Sakamaki, 140 Field Point Road, #8, Greenwich, CT 06830. All gifts are tax deductible, and donors will receive tax-exempt receipts. Those with questions are invited to call him at 203-557-3185.
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