for the children of ishinomaki, japan

{So far today we have over 170 700 boxes going to Japan, being shipped from all around the world! }

{photo from here}

I am feeling quite somber today, and yet, so excited I can hardly find the words to type.  I finally feel like there is something tangible my family and your family, can do for Japan.

{photo from here}

A new Japanese friend of mine has been corresponding with her dear friend in the devastated town of Ishinomaki, Japan.  (All of the Japanese photos are from Ishinomaki.)  Her friend, Sachiko, is an elementary school teacher in this town.  Many of the children of the school have parents that never returned to the school to pick them up.  Many of the children, in the cooler weather there, are walking barefooted.  Many of these children need our help, we who have so many comforts of life right now.

I'm calling out to you, my readers, to send one box.  That is all.  One box filled with most of the things you already have sitting in your cupboards.

What Sachiko says the children need:

erasers/ pencils/crayons

paper and supplies

special things like candy, something fun that brings a smile

shippable foods

letters to the children

Besides what is on the list, I confirmed that things that are new or gently used like children's clothing, dried fruit, granola bars, and such would be wonderful as well.  We'll be sending many of my girls' shoes and clothes that can be distributed to suit needs.

{photo from here}

Sachiko's father is a Buddhist monk, and therefore, lives in a Buddhist temple in Ishinomaki.  The temple still stands because it was built on higher ground, which is why all of the boxes are being shipped here.  If you are serious about sending a box, email me personally in the contact me section on my blog and I will email you right back with the address.  Her parents are presently housing 15 adults who have lost their homes.

Their needs are:

flash lights and batteries (D and AA)

paper products (toilet paper, paper towels)

feminine products (pads, tampons)

hand wipes (currently used for bathing there, if they have them)

antibacterial gel (there is a sickness like the flu passing through rapidly)

food (plain noodles, dried fruit, other things that ship easily)

disposable gloves and lotion--for sorting through the rubble

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If your family chooses to get involved and send one package, have your children help by creating cards for the children.  Sachiko says the children need some happiness.  I can't even imagine their feelings, longings for familiarity, and sorrows.  Put some fun things in their box, too.

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There is no need to run to the store.  Look for things you already have in abundance in your home.  The girls agreed to give away their homemade crayons we made.  They donated some of their change to pay for shipping.  We are gathering paper goods, supplies, dried fruit, gently used clothing, etc., that we already have.  So that means the only cost is the shipping. Do what you can afford, even if it is a really small box.  Let the children donate towards the shipping as well.

Let's do this together, please.  If you can commit one box to Japan, share it with us in the comments.   My goal is that this blog, through you generous people, can send 20 700 boxes to Ishinomaki, Japan.  This town has been devastated.  We have a real, hands-on way to give of our bounty.  Please.  Pass this on as well- through Facebook, friends, etc.  Can you imagine the out pouring of boxes to this school, to this generous Buddhist monk and the people he's caring for?

Lets fill up the comments section on the blog today with people committing to one box each, all around the world.

SHIPPING TIP:  If you buy the international flat rate shipping boxes, that will be your cheapest option!

*Also, please "like" The Sleepy Time Gal on the right column (via Facebook) so you will be aware of updates I am sending regularly.  Photos (like boxes arriving in Japan) will be updated in the STG flickr group on the right column.

See the sub-sequential posts from the "boxes to Japan" project here,  here, here, and here.  Also, here is our appearance on the local news about the project.