Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

March 28, 2011

Goshen College student begins fundraiser to provide aid to Japan

VIDEO: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yr7O00p1DCs

 

GOSHEN — After Goshen College freshman Yumi Otsuka saw what happened in her native Japan, she was at first frustrated. Then she was concerned about her family.

While her family is in the Tokyo area and not directly threatened by the disaster, she did something about her feelings for her homeland. She began a fundraiser to help victims there.

“I hope I can be a part of this,” she said one evening last week on the GC campus. “Hearing the news every day makes me sad. It hurts me to see them dying, because of a lack of food.”

Otsuka said she decided to help raise funds for Japan during a March 19 talent show hosted by the International Student Club at GC. She said people in the audience at the show helped give her a good start.

“I am excited to get the campus involved,” she said.

Otsuka said she has made six collection boxes and planned to get them around the campus — at the dining hall, the Java Junction coffee shop, the rec center, Welcome Center and snack bar.

She said potential donors can e-mail her at yumio@goshen.edu or send contributions to the Goshen College accounting office on the campus. She explained she is being helped in this effort by Japanese students at Indiana University South Bend and the University of Notre Dame.

“I will send the money to the Japan-America Society of Indiana,” which has an office at Indianapolis, Otsuka said, and the money will go to a non-profit agency in Japan. She said 100 percent of the funds will go to aid in Japan — there are no administrative expenses.

“I want to thank those who donated (March 19) to help me and my country,” she said. “I appreciate them so much.”

‘He’s sad’

Otsuka’s parents are in the Tokyo area but her father went to school at Sendai, which was struck the hardest by the deadly tsunami on March 11.

“I have not been to Sendai, but my dad went to school there and he has friends there,” she said. “He’s sad. This is so much for me.”

Otsuka, 18, is a first-year nursing major at GC, after studying the past three years at Bethany Christian High School. She followed in her brother’s footsteps in attending BCHS. Her older brother, Ryo, is now a student at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Their oldest brother, Shun, lives in Osaka.

She said her father, Tsutomu, is an engineer with IBM, and her mother, Yoshiko, sells real estate.

Otsuka explained that her father was in his office on the 17th floor of his building in Tokyo when the magnitude 9.0 earthquake struck off the coast of Japan. When the building started shaking, he walked down the stairs to the street.

“There were so many people in the streets and parks,” she said. “We knew what to do, because we have had earthquakes in Japan.”

But the tsunami wave that followed caused even more damage than the earthquake.

Happy to help

Otsuka said she usually talks to her family about once a week now, while it had been monthly in the past. She and her father both have iPhones, she said, and they talk on them, as well as using Skype.

She said she is pleased that she can help others, even though she is just beginning her training to become a nurse.

“It makes me happy that I am helping people already. Not medically, but helping,” she said this week. “I can make a difference even though I am pretty much alone.”

She estimated that her fundraising campaign may continue through April.

“They need the help right now,” she stressed. “I need all the help I can get.”

Otsuka can be reached at 574-215-5291.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • GN140424 Emma1 Pioneer Drama Troupe to perform 'Emma' Emma has a gift for getting people together — or so she thinks. Pride and matchmaking gone awry are key to Jane Austen’s “Emma,” which will be brought to theatrical life this weekend by the Pioneer Drama Troupe.

    April 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • GN140423 west goshen dress code 04 West Goshen dress code policy unveiled GOSHEN — Solid color shirts with collars and two to four buttons are the proposed changes for students at Goshen Elementary School with a standardized dress code policy this fall.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Michigan Prisoner Escape Michigan murderer arraigned in prison escape that led to manhunt in Elkhart, LaGrange counties

    IONIA, Mich. — A convicted murderer who broke out of a western Michigan prison in February has been arraigned on escape, carjacking and kidnapping charges.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140423 Wakarusa Musical 3 'A Kid's Life' portrays sudden techno loss WAKARUSA — The young people of our present day society don’t remember ever having lived their lives without some element of electronic gadgetry becoming involved. For them, it would be difficult to fathom the possibility of a world “off the grid.” So the fourth- and fifth-grade students of Wakarusa Elementary School will offer a comedic and chaotic interpretation of such a dilemma with their upcoming musical “A Kid’s Life.”

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140423 stress relief 03 Furry pals help GC students with dog days of finals GOSHEN - Goshen College students took a break from preparing for final exams to hangout with some four-legged friends Monday afternoon.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140423 FF spring play_3547 Fairfield students to present Oscar Wilde classic BENTON — Fairfield’s musicals and plays have recently left their status as an extracurricular activity and come under the wing of the Performing Arts Department and under the direction of Andrew Muth.

    April 23, 2014 3 Photos

  • Sheriff Brad Rogers_0657 Sheriff travels to Nev. ranch in fed dispute Elkhart County Sheriff Brad Rogers has weighed in on a controversy surrounding a Nevada rancher, and visited the scene of the struggle.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140209 snow storm 05 Elkhart, LaGrange counties denied FEMA aid GOSHEN — Elkhart and LaGrange counties were not among the 19 Indiana counties that had financial aid approved Tuesday by FEMA for a January winter storm.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Prep Roundup BASEBALL Falcons garner road win The Fairfield Falcons posted a 5-4 victory Tuesday evening at Rochester. Dustin Everage (three innings), Andrew Bobeck (three) and Austin Christner (one) pitched for the winners. Everage struck out three to earn the

    April 23, 2014

  • Akela.jpg SLIDESHOW: Pets of the Week Available cats and dogs at the Humane Society of Elkhart County. These loving animals are looking for permanent homes.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Poll

There has been discussion at West Goshen Elementary School to require mandatory student uniforms in the future. How do you feel about the prospect of mandatory student uniforms in a public school environment?

I think it’s an excellent idea that is way overdue
I think it’s a bad idea and would be restrictive for students and parents.
     View Results
AP Video