Published on March 14th, 2011 | by ssca3
Springfield Sister Cities Association Accepting Donations for Japan Relief
– article by Cindy Jobe, SSCA Coordinator –
– photo courtesy US Navy –
After disasters the magnitude of what just happened in Japan with the earthquake and tsunami, folks want to give. Folks want to help in some way. The human spirit can be quite generous given the right opportunity.
Springfield Sister Cities Association has had a relationship with Isesaki, Japan for 25 years. Immediately following the earthquake our office started receiving phone calls and emails asking about the condition of Isesaki and our friends there. The response was amazing.
Literally dozens of inquiries from people who have either gone to Isesaki on one of our exchanges, or have hosted people from Isesaki in their home here. It makes you realize that Sister Cities does touch lives. This is not just some far away disaster. This has a face, with names and friendships attached.
Following 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina our friends in Isesaki sent donations to SSCA with the simple instructions of “forward on to the relief effort you think is best.” And, the even more amazing story was immediately following Springfield’s destructive ice storm of January, 2007. Within a couple of weeks we received a bank draft for almost $17,000! They gave with no strings attached or specific ways it was to be used. They simply wanted us to replant trees and recover from the storm.
It didn’t stop there! Two months later a group of eleven gardeners came from Isesaki to help our park staff plant trees, and trim the trees that could be saved.
So, last Friday night at our Annual Membership Celebration we kicked off our own fund-raising campaign to aid in the relief efforts in Japan. We are simply making our members and supporters aware they can donate to the international relief effort locally. SSCA will send 100% of the money raised to our good and trusted friends in Isesaki with the same instructions they gave us, “give it in the specific way you think serves the most pressing needs.” And honestly, who would know better than folks that are actually there so close to the situation?
It should be noted SSCA is not a relief organization. That is not our purpose. In fact, our purpose is simply what was stated at the beginning of this article… connect people to people. But, with the extent of the devastation in Japan, and considering their generosity to us in the past, this is our way of “paying it forward.”
Please make checks payable to: