More donations not needed in Japan!?

More donations not needed in Japan!?

Posted on May 9, 2011
Filed Under relief & aid | Leave a Comment

Donations are piling up at distribution centers around N.E. Japan and in various cities that have gathered donations for the victims of the tsunami of March 11th that killed aprox. 30,000 people. Centers are turning away donations routinely now so the need to help is past and everything is ok? 

NOT AT ALL…The problem is that there are an abundance of supplies but many are the wrong supplies, coupled with the problem of poor distribution. There is a terrible lack of communication and coordination with the government sponsored aid centers. Many of the larger centers are actually non government run ad-hoc centers that have been organized by various volunteer groups. One of the centers we visited a couple weeks ago in higashimatsushima city had slipped thru the cracks receiving nothing for days while the mountain of supplies pictured left sat growing though it was only a short drive away. So even with the abundance, people sat hungry waiting for help…

The one consistent need is still FOOD, and will be for some time to come. For the victims in a shelter, there is a clear limit to the amount of  things that they can acquire until they are settled in temporary housing. Most of the victims in shelters simply have a very small area of floor space that the share with hundreds in large arenas, gyms, etc. That is the real cause of the of the stockpiling of supplies. 

Today, many people in shelters are living on one bento a day with some bread or some rice and miso. Kozmoz will continue to take truckloads of fresh vegetables for the next few weeks as that is the number one request of the shelters that we have been supporting. And the first truckload that we took 2 weeks ago unbelievably marked the first fresh vegetables that the victims had enjoyed since the disaster in March. Our number one goal is make sure that the victims are receiving 3 balanced meals each day. And Kozmoz will be sending aid on relief trucks loaded with food until that happens.

Please continue to help support the local organizations like Kozmoz that are not saddled with time and life stealing red tape. Many of the groups are on the ground getting aid to the people that need it quickly. Also remember to not just show up with donations unannounced. Please check with the organization that you want to support by asking about the current needs. And donate ONLY what the organization is collecting. Many places need funds to distribute the goods. Make sure that you seek out local organizations that were in existence before the disaster to make sure that funds are not eaten up with administrative costs.

This week, Kozmoz is collecting sealed bags of rice, unexpired miso and can goods (fruit, vegetables, etc.) and summer clothes and sandals (new only please). You can bring these to the Kyoto Kozmoz Center in Fushimi-Momoyama. And if you want to organize a supply drive, Kozmoz will pick up your donations right from your door. Thank you for your continued support! 


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