Before we zipped away for Spring Break our family was thinking of ideas for ways we could do something for Japan. We usually donate money, but I felt we needed more of a community effort. We tossed around a few ideas and then I read this post by part-time Tofitian Julie, and she gave me the boost I needed. Don't you think it's time we came together as a community to share a meal and send some support west? Our community has a strong connection to Japan — just check out the pre-WW II school photos in the library — and we also share a similar natural environment. It happened there; we know it could happen here.
So let's do dinner. Here's the plan.
What: A Community Potluck
Where: Tofino Community Hall
When: Sunday, April 3 (Yes, this Sunday)
Why: To raise money* for the Red Cross's relief efforts in Japan.
Time: Please arrive at 5:30 so we can get the food set out. The meal will begin at 6 pm. (We'll try to have a few activities to keep the young ones occupied.)
What can I do? (I'm so glad you asked.)
- Bring a dish to share. (Or two dishes if you're brining a large contingent.)
- Please bring your own plates, cups and utensils.
- Bring cash donations.*
- Volunteer if you can. We'll need help setting up, taking down, making tea, cleaning in the kitchen, etc. I would also love to hear from musicians willing to entertain for a bit or people willing to organize a few quiet activities for children. (Simple origami perhaps? Reading stories based in Japan?) Leave a comment below if you can help, or call me at 5-1288.
- Spread the word. If you work in the food industry, please consider a food contribution if you can. (No pressure. I know it's short notice.)
- Consider bringing someone — an elderly friend perhaps? — who might not otherwise come. Let's get a great cross-section of the community out.
* Just so you feel comfortable that I am not going to go to Mexico with this cash I will have two other people count the donations with me and will have them verify the cheque going to the Red Cross. (They can put it in the mail, too.)
Here is how the Canadian Red Cross is helping:
The Japanese Red Cross has an official role as part of the National Disaster Response Plan in Japan. Their role focuses on supporting emergency medical care, hospital care, psychological support, and distribution of relief supplies such as blankets, food and basic supplies.
The Canadian Red Cross has also been part of a high level support team that recently deployed a disaster response specialist to Japan. The team is assisting the Japanese Red Cross in addressing current critical gaps and in creating a longer term recovery plans.
And here's a message from the Japanese Red Cross:
"The compassion the Canadian people have demonstrated over the past week through their generous support to the Canadian Red Cross is incredibly uplifting at a time when we are dealing with a such an immense humanitarian tragedy. This financial support is very much needed and continues to be welcomed to help the hundreds of thousands of lives that will forever be changed by this disaster."
Director International Relief Division
Japanese Red Cross Society