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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Lawrence Sister City Advisory Board Encourages Residents to help with Japanese Disaster Relief Efforts

(Lawrence, Kan.) – The City of Lawrence’s Sister City in Hiratsuka, Japan sustained minor damage in last week’s devastating earthquake. As a Sister City to Hiratsuka and to the Japanese people, the Lawrence Sister City Advisory Board has handled numerous requests regarding disaster relief efforts and how local residents can work to assist the Japanese people in the process of recovery and rebuilding.
“I would like to take a moment to recognize the victims and survivors of the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan,” said Mayor Mike Amyx. “As the world reaches out to the Japanese people, I urge the citizens of Lawrence to find ways to help the global community and assist Japan as they begin to rebuild their nation’s infrastructure and engage in the healing process that will be necessary to cope with a tragedy of this magnitude.”
Sister City Advisory Board Chairman Bill Keel said: “On behalf of the City of Lawrence and our community, we are grateful that our Sister City and cherished friends in Hiratsuka are not experiencing the full force of this tragedy. Our recommendation for those who want to help is to make a charitable contribution to one of the charities we’ve identified.”
A list of charities assisting in the relief efforts is below:
·         Mid-America Chapter of the American Translators Association is working with Heart of America Japan-America Society (KCJAS) to collect donations. KCJAS will send 100% of the donations they receive to Japan.
·         American Red Cross officials encourage donors to text REDCROSS to 90999 and a $10 donation will automatically be charged to donor’s phone bill, or donations can be made directly on its web site,
·         Help AmeriCares be prepared to deliver medical and disaster relief to people in crisis around the world,
·         Since 1865, B'nai B'rith has responded with millions of dollars of needed assistance to help the victims of hundreds of disasters - both natural and man-made - around the world. The organization is currently accepting donations to help the victims of the major earthquake and tsunami in Japan,
·         CARE is one of the world’s largest private international humanitarian organizations. Their offices in Asia are on high alert and have ensured that staff is informed of the tsunami warnings and other related developments,
·         GlobalGiving is working with International Medical Corps, Save the Children, and other organizations on the ground to disburse funds to organizations providing relief and emergency services to victims of the earthquake and tsunami. Donors can text JAPAN to 50555 to give $10, and larger increments can be submitted on GlobalGiving’s web site,
·         The Salvation Army is encouraging donors to text JAPAN or QUAKE to 80888 to make a $10 donation. (Make sure to respond “YES” to the Thank You message you receive.) Donations can also be made on the organization’s web site,
· is a disaster-relief organization that focuses on providing survival materials such as tents and cooking equipment to families displaced by disasters.
·         Other organizations to consider:
“A natural disaster of a magnitude 9.0 earthquake is something that we in the Midwest can barely imagine,” said Amyx. “However, it is an important reminder that we are not alone and our community has created relationships spanning oceans.  I send my condolences and prayers to our Sister City in the Pacific and encourage the residents of Lawrence to keep the people of Hiratsuka and Japan in our thoughts as they embark on this daunting task of rebuilding.”
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