Supporting Japan from Mount Royal University
by Zoey Duncan
For decades, Canadian students have benefitted from the innovations in Japanese technology, and now Mount Royal students have a chance to give back to Japan in their time of crisis.
The SKFS Japanese Club on campus started fundraising this week to raise money for the Red Cross effort in Japan.
“There’s only so much you can do from so far away,” said Santa Sottile, one of the club members who, along with Tomo Honda and Mino Teramoto, kick-started the fundraiser.
Many members of the club have friends and family members near the quake zone and just hoped to contribute any way they could.
Sottile said the Red Cross is committed to giving 91 cents of every dollar raised to individuals in Japan.
Though they were initially shut down by external relations after setting up a table in the hallway yesterday, the club raised over $600 their first day. Their hub now is a booth on Main Street where they’ve set up photos of the devastation left by the earthquake and the tsunami. Donators are encouraged to participate in the creation of an origami sculpture as well.
Sottile said they weren’t expecting much when they first set up, but they’ve since receive enormous support from faculty, the Students’ Association, and Sodexo, which is collecting donations at the Starbucks location near East Gate.
Tomorrow, they will set up on stage in Wyckham House to further promote the opportunity to donate.
The fundraising will continue into next week, with club members populating the booth on Main Street from about 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m. each day.
This weekend, the Japanese Club will be at the Calgary Japanese Community Association’s open house in support of the earthquake and tsunami victims.
“The true magnitude of the devastation caused by the earthquake and tsunami will not be fully known for a long time. However, we are overwhelmed by the tremendous generosity of Canadians and their expressions of concern and support,” said Rocky Oishi, President of the CJCA.
The open house runs from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on March 19 at the Calgary Nikkei Cultural and Senior Centre at 2236-29th Street S.W.