Thursday, March 17, 2011

Socks for Japan

If you’re looking for a way to help the folks of Japan affected by the recent earthquakes & tsunami, here’s a simple thing anyone, even your kids, can do: send them socks!
American author Jason Kelly, who lives in Sano, Japan, is collecting socks for earthquake victims. He writes…

Here’s a way you can help Japan, directly and meaningfully.

Hundreds of my readers in the United States and other parts of the world have asked me how they can help the victims of the devastating earthquake that struck Japan on March 11. There are many places to donate money, and that’s a wonderful thing to do, but direct aid is also cherished by victims.

My office location is perfect for managing a direct-aid operation because it’s close enough to the primary damage zone that we can physically get there to help, but far enough away that mail delivery is working. So we quickly set ourselves up to run this operation, called Socks for Japan.


Send only new socks. All human beings are comforted by a fresh, clean pair of socks. Other advantages socks offer this operation: their sizes are easy, they don’t break, people need lots of them in disastrous times without running water, people can keep them forever and remember that somebody from far away cared. Please do not send any other items of clothing, food, etc. Just socks, but go ahead and choose nice ones that will brighten somebody’s day.

Group similar socks in one package. To help our inventory management, put all socks of one type in a single package. For example, “men’s large,” “girls’ medium,” “boys’ small,” “baby girls’,” and so on. Different colors and styles are fine in the same package, but keep the gender and sizes consistent, please. If you include several different groups in a single box, please pack the groups in clear bags with a description enclosed, facing out.

List package contents on the package. To help our inventory management, write on the outside of the package exactly what’s inside. For example, “ten pairs, men’s medium socks” or “one pair, girl’s small socks” and so on. This will enable us to quickly group inventory for efficient distribution without opening packages.

Enclose a short care letter. Japanese people treasure letters, especially ones from foreigners. Victims of the 1995 Hanshin quake in Kobe said that care letters were among the most uplifting items they received. If you enclose a care letter, provide a copy of it for each pair of socks you send. This will enable us to hand each recipient of your socks a letter from you. Please keep your letter brief. You can save us time by enclosing a translation of your letter into Japanese, which you can make easily at Google Translate, then copy, paste, and print the result to attach to each copy of your English version. Machine translations are imperfect so be sure to send your English version in case we need to tidy up the Japanese. If you send only English, we’ll translate it to Japanese and include your information that the recipient can use to respond later if they would like. No guarantee on that, of course, and any replies will probably arrive months or possibly more than a year later. We’ll translate replies from Japanese to English.

Write your email address on the package. The most efficient way for us to keep in touch with you, and track the status of your package once we receive it, is via your email address. Please write it on the outside of your package so we can communicate with you without opening the package.

Please ship your package to my office:

Jason Kelly

Helping Angels : Socks for Japan
Plaza Kei 101
Wakamatsu-cho 615-6
Sano, Tochigi 327-0846

Thank you for your support! When your package arrives, we’ll send a note to you at the email address you wrote on it.

Join Helping Angels here for more of where this comes from and follow the latest international project at Bald Empathy Movement


carlyjcais said...

I saw your photo on the Socks for Japan site. It was extremely moving.

You are doing a wonderful thing!
(I instead got evil comments on my socks for japan post on my own blog and on Facebook, with people trying to debate about what aid is necessary, when, and how etc.) People rarely tell others when they're doing something GOOD - so I wanted to let you know to keep up your efforts and don't doubt that you are doing something helpful.

I for one can't wait to see the first videos of the distribution!

Poesy said...

Thank you for viraling this.

Murni said...

hey carly, the pictures aren't my own actually. they're from the socks of japan site you referenced. my own contribution wasn't as big as pictured but i tried to do what i could & posting it up on my blog didn't take a lot of effort :)

hey ya poesy, no worries! hope my socks arrived safely & have been distributed.