SMC continues to show support for Japanese victims

Stemming from the multiple recent disasters in Japan, Santa Monica College is reaching out to its large Japanese population, many of whom have friends and family overseas. Dr. Chui L. Tsang, President and Superintendent of SMC sent a letter March 15th to the college community bringing attention to a round-up of everything happening on campus as well as options for people to contribute directly to relief efforts, including student club efforts and off-campus charities. The International Education Center has teamed up with the Japanese Consulate in Los Angeles to assist in locating friends and family of students hit by the disaster, and is currently hosting support groups hosted by SMC psychologists.

Efforts to fundraise on campus are also in progress, including that of the Japanese English Language Association (J.E.L.A.). A Pray for Japan group has been out in full force taking donations as well as collecting prayers and comments that students across campus have transcribed.

J.E.L.A is kicking off a fundraising event April 4-7 to raise money for victims in Japan. So far 11 clubs will participate in the event and lend their volunteers.

J.E.L.A. club president Taka Glascock specified that the event would not just be about money. There will be an information booth as well as a booth to sell wristbands. "Money is always good," said Glascock, "but I want to create some sort of bond at our school. A bond is creating peace and creating friendship."

With many people in Japan being limited to one or even no meals per day, even the smallest of donations have been greatly appreciated. If every SMC student donated 50 cents, over $15,000 could be raised to go to Japanese aid.

Also, donations to one of many relief funds can now be sent via text message. Organizations have set up text-to-donate programs where students can donate $10 to Japanese relief that will be posted on their phone bill. Text REDCROSS to Red Cross at 90999, JAPAN to UNICEF at 864233, MED to International Medical Corps or the Salvation Army at 80888 to donate.