Unificationists in a range of public-minded organizations are in Japan working as relief volunteers or opening their hearts and their wallets to the people of Japan through fundraising campaigns. Shortly after the March 11, 2011 quake, Rev. In Jin Moon called for donations to assist quake victims, and by March 28, 2011, more than $85,000 had been donated.
Unificationists Luke Higuchi and Richard Sapp are leading Rev. In Jin Moon’s team in Japan, where they are setting up the infrastructure for shipping food and medicine through Christian Disaster Response, an internationally recognized relief organization. Mr. Higuchi and Mr. Sapp are among 40 Unificationists helping with training and certification as disaster relief workers in Tokyo. On April 3-4, 2011 the team, in turn, will conduct a larger training in Sendai itself, according to Rev. Jim Gavin, the president of the Universal Peace Federation USA.
Left to right: Mr. Oshima, UC Japan relief director, Luke Higuchi, SAFE USA,Richard Sapp, UPF-USA, unamed JN member, Dr. Ron Patterson, Executive Director Christian Disaster Response, and three other Japan disaster staff.
The Japanese Unificationist in charge of the training is Mr. Oshima, who explained to the trainees that this was the time to begin relief efforts aimed at the general population in disaster hit areas, Rev. Gavin tells Familyfed.org. Mr. Kook Jin Moon, president of the Tongil Industrial group, reportedly encouraged the Japanese Unification Church members to prepare themselves to serve the Japanese people in this disaster and in other situations that will arise in the future, according to Rev. Gavin.
An organizing committee of the Lovin’ Life Ministries in Maryland has planned a Japanese-theme festival and Japan-Aid concert on April 17, 2011 at the New Hope Academy in West Lanham Hills, Maryland from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. The event will include Japanese food booths, calligraphy, and karaoke and will conclude with a concert featuring several young Unificationist performers.
Rev. Randy Francis, District Pastor of Washington D.C., reported that the Washington Cathedral on Columbia Road is planning an International Cultures Night, this Friday, April 1, 2011, in which different cultures come together, each bringing their different types of food, dance and entertainment. Some cultures that will be present in the event include Ethiopia, Latin America, some African Nations, the Philippines and Europe. This event is sponsored by UPF, American Clergy Leadership Conference (ACLC) and WFWP and will be a fundraiser to raise money for the relief efforts in Japan.
Arigato choir standing in front of parking lot at the Glen Ridge shopping center in West Lanham Hills, MD on March 26, 2011
On March 20, 2011, eight Japanese American families collected $2,100 by standing out in front of a Giant food store for three hours. It was very moving to see the little Japanese/American children fundraise for their grandparents who live in the northern parts of Japan, Rev. Gavin tells Familyfed.org.
On March 25, and March 26, 2011, Unificationists, including five Japanese girls, fundraised at a shopping center in West Lanham Hills, Maryland.
In Arkansas, Rev. Bruce Biggin reported that local second-generation Unificationists raised more than $1,000 through fundraising. The event was organized by the Arkansas State Pastor, and the teens went door-to-door and business to business with a donation bucket, saying it was for the Japanese Relief Fund.
Anyone who would like to donate to the relief through cell phone can simply text the code word GenPeace to 27722. Each text will automatically donate $10 to HSA’s relief fund through your phone carrier, and the contribution will be posted to your next phone bill. Please note that there is a $30 maximum phone bill donation limit each month.
Contributed by Douglas Burton