Share Your Christmas
this Christmas with people in Tohoku, Japan
We are coming up on our 5th Christmas after 311 and people are still living in temporary housing in Tohoku.
It's hard to believe it but we are coming up on the fifth Christmas since the 311 Triple Disaster that changed the face of the Tohoku region. For those who are not connected to the region, 311 is a distant memory and most people think the region is, "back to normal". The reality is that hundreds of thousands of people are still living in "Temporary" housing with permanent housing a distant dream and making ends meet is an uphill battle. Many older people have resigned themselves to dying in their temporary residences. The people of Fukushima still live with the fear of the long term effects of radiation and the immediate danger of another accident at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi power plant. Every year, fewer and fewer people visit the region and residents move away. People feel that they have been forgotten. This is why we are going back again this year (and for many years to come) to Share Your Christmas! Please help us bring some warmth to the hearts of the people of Tohoku.
Thanks to everyone's incredible generosity, the past 4 years have been a wonderful success. We have visited hundreds of evacuees and shared all kinds of presents, cakes, fruit, tea, music, caligraphy, laughter and most importantly, time together. It is a small gesture but it creates so much joy and light that it is palpable.
The idea of Share Your Christmas is simple. You buy a Christmas present and send it to us, we will then fill a van with presents, cake, fruit, whipped cream and drinks, don our Santa outfits and drive up to Tohoku and have Christmas parties with the children and adults who continue the fight to survive in much less than ideal conditions.
To unconditionally share a gift is a small thing in many ways, but for the people of Tohoku it means so much. Connection. Comfort. Love. Someone somewhere cares, is thinking about them, if offering a small piece of their heart from somewhere far away.
How to Share Your Christmas
Pack your gift and post it to:
Share your Christmas,
c/o Jeffrey Jousan
Katsuragi Nesaki 45-1
Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-0824
Please wrap the gift in clear wrapping with a bow and card attached. You can write a message, your name and even contact information if you would like the recipient to contact you. You can even include your picture if you like.
We also accept donations in place of presents. We use them to buy party supplies, buy extra presents, purchase needed supplies and cover transportation costs. Our largest donation in the past was a jet heater for the gym at the temporary school in Otsuchi. Please see the Donations Page for more information.
How Share your Christmas began
A resident of Tokyo received a request from his niece in Baltimore, asking for a computer for Christmas. After long and all-due consideration he agreed, but on the promise she donated one of her gifts from under her family tree to a child in Tohoku.
At dinner that evening, her agreement became the basis of an urgent campaign. Since Japan is not a Christian country as such, it will not matter that gifts only arrive after Christmas Day itself. We then anticipate several weeks of intense activity, making sure gifts reach boys and girls - and adults too - of the correct age.
We invite those sharing their gifts to write messages, and will encourage recipients to reply. In this way we hope Share your Christmas will translate into Share your Lives, with many friendships being forged for the future.
Share Your Christmas and Otoshidama was founded by Jeffrey Jousan, Angela Jeffs, James Howard and Jacinta Hin.