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The mid-March earthquake in Japan has affected millions of lives, including the students, faculty and staff at Lakeland College Japan. Lakeland College is raising money for the earthquake relief effort, and we need your help. Any contribution, no matter the size, will help as our friends in Japan work to get back on their feet.
If you make a contribution of $50 or more, we will mail you a "We Support Japan" t-shirt, which was designed by two Lakeland students, art major Kasumi Sagae and biology major Sean Johnson. Click to donate to Japan Relief
"The idea for the shirts came from a brainstorming session held soon after the earthquake struck," said Jen Siebert, Lakeland's assistant director of the Hayssen Academic Resource Center and the English Language Institute and an instructor of Japanese. Students, faculty and staff organized a design competition with student entries posted on Facebook for voting. A total of 500 shirts were made, and nearly 400 have been sold, raising over $2,500.
Sagae's design on the front of the shirt includes three typical Japanese symbols that represent her hopes for her home: the crane, symbolizing good fortune; the cherry blossoms, peace; and the red circle, the sun that also appears on the Japanese flag. She says "I wanted to keep it as simple as possible, so people would understand what they are looking at." Kasumi's family lives closer to Tokyo, so they were not in immediate danger after the quake, though they did have to do without electricity and gas for their cars. They also experienced food shortages. Kasumi has spoken to her family via Skype and reports that things are getting better for them. She is proud of her brother, who is volunteering in the hardest hit area. Sean Johnson's contribution on the back of the shirt helps put words on the message: "We Support Japan - Lakeland College."
The shirts are being worn by students, faculty and staff. Recently, the shirts made their way onto the backs of many alumni who returned to campus on April 16 for the fifth annual Alumni College events. Shirts went into the greater community at an event called, "Barefoot Day," at Sheboygan's Memorial Mall. This event was organized by students under the direction of Lakeland's assistant community service coordinator, Danielle Ristow '10.
"The day was originally designed to provide earthquake relief to the people of Haiti by collecting gently used shoes to donate," Ristow said. "When the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan, the group broadened 'Barefoot Day' to include fundraising for Japan as well." Students were able to collect shoes and sell t-shirts to help support relief efforts in two different parts of the world in one informative and engaging community event.
There are still t-shirts available. Won't you contribute to Lakeland's earthquake relief effort and in the process, receive an artful shirt to show your support for the people of Japan? And if you have gently used shoes, Lakeland will help you get them onto the feet of people in Haiti who need them.
Click to donate to Japan Relief.
If you would like to learn more about shoes for Haiti, please contact Danielle Ristow at email@example.com.