This morning I woke to 4 email messages in my inbox, one after the other asking me to help spread the word about things we can do to help those in Japan who are still reeling from the earthquake, the tsunami, and the fear of nuclear disaster.
I spent time in Japan in 1989 and I keep thinking of all of those memories…all of those people…and my mind just can’t fathom what they are going through. My heart is so heavy and I search for updates and watch with hope as they try to rebuild and put life back together.
I recently read this quote which says SO much about the nobleness of the Japanese people:
"When the Japanese mend broken objects, they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold. They believe that when something has suffered damage and has a history it becomes more beautiful."
There will be a lot of cracks to fill. But I know there are things that we, as a community of quilters, can do to help.
Another email came from Sandra Shigeno, and may be a better way for those of us in the USA to send quilts as Quilters Newsletter is heading up an effort for quilts to be sent to Japan as well:
Love your quilts and books. But today I join the many people that come to you with requests.
I am sorry. I wish I did not have the urge to do it; but you are such an inspiration that I thought of you when I came across this information.
It is a request for quilts for Japan. I copied the letter to you below:
"This is a copy of an email from the editor of Quilt Tsushin Magazine, Naomi Ichikawa, Naomi lives in Tokyo and her mother and brother survived the tsunami in Sendai.
Here is Naomi’s request translated into english.
It is still bad situation now in Japan. We are still nervous about shaking and radiation,but no way to escape. I start to announce to the quilters to send us comfort quilts for the people who are suffered.I would like to do it to the world quilters. We will deliver the comfort quilts to the people who are very difficult situation. Could you please help to announce it to the quilters? We accept any size of quilts(baby to adult).new or unused.
The deadline would be the end of May or later.
After May 1st:
Patchwork Tsushin Co.,Ltd
I will appreciate if you help me.
My hope is that in the near future we will be collecting supplies for quilt groups in the Sendai region so they can use quilting to confort, heal, and express themselves.
Nomaiaci (Cissa) Kamakura
Quilters Newsletter has long enjoyed a friendship with Patchwork Tsushin, a leading Japanese quilt magazine.
So when Editor in Chief Naomi Ichikawa emailed to say her magazine is collecting comfort quilts for those impacted by the recent earthquake in Japan, we wanted to join the effort.
QN will gather quilts from U.S. quiltmakers then forward them to Naomi and her staff, who will deliver them to those in need. (If you live outside the United States, email me as indicated below, and I will provide information on how you can send quilts directly to Naomi.)
Here’s how you can be part of this important worldwide response:
Send new quilts of any size from baby to adult to:
741 Corporate Circle, Suite A
Golden, CO 80401
• Mark your box: “Quilts for Japan.”
• Send quilts as soon as possible and no later than April 30, 2011.
• Enclose your name, address, phone number, and email address with the quilts.
We did it for Katrina…we did it for the flooding in the midwest. We did it to help the Australians recently. I know we have it in us to help those in Japan as well!
***UPDATE*** This just in:
I emailed with Naomi Ichikawa today. She has asked that if you are sending quilts directly to Japan, that you do not send them until May 1 at the earliest. Please watch this blog for regular updates on this time frame as things are changing daily in Japan.
If you are sending quilts to Quilters Newsletter [in Colorado] and do not want to write “Quilts for Japan” on the box, please enclose a note that says this. We receive many quilts in our offices and will only send quilts to Japan that we know are intended for Japan.
Please send only new quilts.
I am amazed but not surprised at the compassionate response to this call for quilts. In just 24 hours, we at QN have heard from quilters in the United States, Canada, South Africa, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, and Italy. We are truly an international community!
Dana Jones, QN managing editor