Earthquake Relief Effort
Yokosuka Travel Blog› entry 37 of 37 › view all entries
In an attempt to stay out of the on-base drama, not feel totally useless, and stay busy while transport is shut down and power is spotty, spent my free time with the Yokosuka Earthquake/Tsunami Relief. It is an independent church group that was using two of the spare "general purpose" rooms in the on base apartment towers as an organizing area. I spent the first day organizing the absolute cluster that was the devision of supplies to make it easier for casual volunteers to find the appropriate place for things (mens pants, next to blanket, next to toothpaste??? that makes no sense), and subsequent days keeping it organized and labelling goods. Goods were transported up north on navy ships, helos, or independent trucks.
The outpoor from the community was amazing. People bought in bags of new clothes, childrens jackets, blankents, 50lbs bags of rice. One lady had a brother who was going to open a sporting goods store but he died suddenly, right before the Big One. She donated all the winter gear, including 300 jackets, plus hats, scarves, gloves, mufflers, all brand new of excellent quality for the earthquake relief effort. People’s generosity during this hard time has been incredible.
I thought it would eventually dwindle down but it never did, everyday was a pile of supplies to sort that never seemed to reach a bottom. Maybe we all felt rather lucky, being in Yokosuka, the most we experienced was the occasional rolling black-out and very short-lived shortages on some food. After about a month the entire operation was shut down, with no explaination (my guess is something to do with base/Japanese politics, something about Japanese politicians being reluctant to accept any form of aid, instead of any real foul).