The Japanese Student Association and International Student Association at The University of Toledo are working with the American Red Cross Greater Toledo Area Chapter to collect donations to assist those impacted by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
The student organizations, along with the Department of Foreign Languages and Office of International Student Services, received donation boxes from the Red Cross and have placed them around campus. Donation boxes are in the department offices for Foreign Languages and English in Memorial Field House rooms 2400 and 1500, respectively, and in the Foreign Language Learning Center in room 2330.
The student organizations also are working with local businesses to put more donation boxes in the community, and students were to collect donations in Savage Arena Saturday during the Women’s National Invitation Tournament.
“We need to raise awareness of how devastating the earthquake and tsunami are to the people in Japan,” said Mari Sawai, president of the Japanese Student Association. “I know people watch it on the news, but it’s different when you know people whose families were involved.”
Donations also will be collected at the second annual Japanese Spring Festival that will take place from noon to 6 p.m. Thursday, April 7, in the Memorial Field House. The event celebrates Japanese culture with artifacts, food and games.
Dr. Joseph Hara, senior lecturer in the Department of Foreign Languages and faculty adviser to the Japanese Student Association, said he is proud of the students for organizing a relief fund. He also has a donation box in his office.
“They are really taking the great effort to carry out this project,” he said.
Students are planning additional fundraising efforts throughout the spring, said Sawai, who is an international student from Tokyo studying education.
Gifts to the Japanese Pacific Tsunami Relief Effort will help those affected by the earthquake in Japan and tsunami throughout the Pacific. On those rare occasions when donations exceed American Red Cross expenses for a specific disaster, contributions are used to prepare for and serve victims of other disasters.