MU ‘Prays for Japan’ earthquake victims

The organization raised more than $7,000 as of Monday.
Paper cranes sit on display Thursday in front of Memorial Union. The Japanese Student Association held a bake sale all week in support of natural disaster victims in Japan.

The Japanese Students Association raised more $7,000 as of Monday to give to the Japanese Red Cross Society in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan a month ago.

On March 11, Japan suffered an 8.9 magnitude earthquake, which caused a tsunami to hit the Japanese shores. Hundreds of people were killed, and more than 300 were declared missing, according to a Washington Post article. Since then, Japan has suffered multiple aftershocks, causing more deaths and more devastation in Japan. The death toll has risen to more than 13,000.

The JSA and volunteers sold “Pray for Japan” T-shirts to raise money along with any money donations the group received.

“We want people to not forget what happened last month,” organizer Sarah Almahmoud said. “Help is still needed and will be needed for a long amount of time since Japan has to be rebuilt.”

JSA President Kiho Ogura said helping Japan also helps the world since no one knows what will happen in the future. When the typhoon hit Vietnam in 2009, JSA helped the Vietnam Student Association. Because of that help, Ogura said VSA helped JSA with fundraising.

“Helping each other is most important,” Ogura said. “Nobody knows what is going to happen to your country in the future.”

Almahmoud said JSA heard stories of families from the United States who were personally affected by the tragedies in Japan. She said one girl’s father was forced to cut back working hours at a car factory because of what happened in Japan.

“It's important because as of today, everything that happens in the world has global consequences,” Almahmoud said. “We are all linked together in some way.”

JSA plans to continue fundraising for the rest of the semester, and Almahmoud said its new goal is to raise more than $10,000.

“Every cent, every gesture – no matter how small or big – counts,” Almahmoud said.

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