On this December 31, I'm happy to report that Tomo: Friendship Through Fiction--An Anthology of Japan Teen Stories published in 2011 by Stone Bridge Press continues to raise funds for teens in Tohoku areas affected by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Nearly seven years after publication, funds are still generated by this anthology that I compiled and edited in the months soon after the disaster.
This month Tomo's publisher Peter Goodman of Stone Bridge Press made a donation of $683.09 USD (76,770 JPY) to the NPO TEDIC.
Based in Ishinomaki in Miyagi Prefecture, TEDIC provides support and counseling for youth, including those struggling with poverty, neglect, abuse, disability, truancy, illness, and social withdrawal.
And today I made a donation of 100,000 JPY ($905.00 USD) to the NPO Sokoage ソコアゲ (to which Tomo funds were also donated in 2017). You can donate via their website or via this Yahoo! Japan Sokoage Fundraiser.
Sokoage (底上げ means "raising up") is based in Kesennuma, also in Miyagi Prefecture. This NPO engages high school students in community building and problem solving by encouraging them to take initiative to become changemakers and by supporting their projects to create a vibrant society. Projects have included the creation of a gathering space near the high school for students and Sokoage staff members; holding monthly community meal events with guest speakers; guiding students in getting to know their community, as well as creating materials to promote the region and record experiences of 3/11; providing volunteer academic support in temporary housing sites and elsewhere; encouraging students who have graduated from high school to stay involved in Kesennuma issues and events; and holding supportive training camps for college students.
I wish everyone sweet hatsuyume dreams of eggplants, hawks and Mt. Fuji (all considered auspicious if sighted in dreams on January 1) and hope that the New Year brings peace and joy and the promise of bright futures to young people throughout the Tohoku region.