Northampton Public Schools Superintendent Blog

District-wide Japan Fundraiser Week of April 5-12

Posted on: April 6, 2011

April 5, 2011

WORLD IN HIS HANDS 2 ©Paul Moore/Dreamstime

To All Parents and Guardians,

The scenes of extraordinary destruction caused by Japan’s earthquake and tsunami, and the extent of its devastation, are probably hard for us to comprehend. As we follow the recovery efforts from half way around the globe we can only imagine what people are going through.

Most survivors have lost loved ones along with their houses and belongings, and yet their spirit seems to rise up in the midst of the chaos. Watching news accounts of the tragedy we marvel at the resilience of Japanese people as children and adults begin picking up debris to rebuild their homes, schools and businesses.

Basic principles of human dignity and our connectedness to the global human family invite us to extend a hand of assistance, and provide our students an opportunity to experience and participate in an act of compassion and social responsibility across cultures. Though miles of ocean and land separate us from Japan, we are at this time one people–and we can help.

The Northampton Public School Department has begun a seven-day fund-raising campaign to provide a financial contribution to aid the survivors of the tsunami. Interestingly, seven is associated with good fortune in Japanese culture, and we are seeking to assist in some small way to provide badly needed support. Theirs is surely a long-term rebuilding effort, but by collectively contributing whatever we can, we hope to help as many people as possible and be of direct benefit to the areas of greatest need.

We invite everyone in the school community to support this initiative and ask family members to help their children find a way to make the contribution, however large or small, a personal and meaningful event. Being part of a worldwide outpouring of care and sharing can be an inspiring occasion that will deepen student interest in other countries and cultures.

All donated funds will be pooled and sent to the American Red Cross, an agency well- equipped to share and transfer resources from one country to another. Contributions in the form of cash or checks will be accepted at each school office for a one-week period starting today and ending on Tuesday, April 12.  For younger children and for safety’s sake we urge parents to consider combining family and children’s donations into a check payable to the JFK Activities Account, with a memo notation on the check “Japan Relief Fund.”

Thank you for your consideration.

Yours truly,

William G. Erickson


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