Upbeat Students

We’ve been distributing socks to schools and temporary neighborhoods recently. On June 1, Socks for Japan spent an entire day within the school system of Watari-cho, one of the first towns we visited back in March when tsunami water still stood on ruined roadways and dampened shelter floors.

Throughout this disaster, Japanese people have remained polite and upbeat. Teachers told us that students are helping each other get through it. Nobody makes fun of a classmate who lost a home. All are treated equally and the pace of education goes on.

Neighborhoods still look like this:

We asked junior-high students to raise a hand if they lost their home on March 11. Here’s the result:

They were happy to receive socks and letters, and even joked around with us.

Younger survivors are doing well, too.

At a kindergarten, one girl named Kotone asked me if I lived in a shelter. “No,” I said. She told me there was room at hers. “Thank you,” I said, “but I have a home in Sano. It wasn’t hit by the wave.” She nodded understandingly. “So that’s why you can bring all these nice socks,” she suggested. I agreed. Here she is during our conversation:

A girl named Rina motioned me to her table and said, “I’m not making this up, I’m very honest, I don’t lie, really, and what I want to tell you is that I love pink socks. I really, really, really love pink socks. I love pink anything, I guess, but what I especially love is pink socks. How did you know I love pink socks?” I told her it was because all girls named Rina love pink socks and we heard from far away that one in Watari-cho didn’t have any. “You mean me?” she asked. “Yes. There are no other Rinas in this town.” She thought carefully, then said I just might be right. Here she is at her table:

Thanks to socks and letters sent from around the world, we can make the days of kids like these a little bit brighter even as they do the same for us.

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  1. Posted June 29, 2011 at 2:08 am | Permalink

    Loved reading the comments from Rina and Kotone. Happy to have been able to make a contribution, but wish we could have done so much more! Thanks from the heart, Jason and team, for your awesome efforts.

  2. Manou
    Posted June 29, 2011 at 2:11 am | Permalink

    You warm our hearts…..as those kids do! Thank you for that!

  3. Cathy
    Posted June 29, 2011 at 2:15 am | Permalink

    It makes my day to read of your efforts with the sock distribution and also with your sharing of the bittersweet stories. Thanks for all that you and your team are doing.

  4. Wendy
    Posted June 29, 2011 at 2:19 am | Permalink

    Thank you so much for these photos Jason….came at just the right time whilst I am figuring out how to pay my bills this month..sort of puts everything into perspective to see these beautiful shiney little faces who have survived so much trauma in their short lifetimes…..Bless you and yours for all you do and as and when you can more photos are always a joy and brighten up my day..Hugs and love to Socks for Japan and for all of Japan….

  5. Posted June 29, 2011 at 3:06 am | Permalink

    Thank you and your team once again for your efforts and your reports, Jason. Those kids are so sweet (and Rina is a charmer – love the photo)! I want to give all those kids a big hug for being so brave and positive. Please let us know when and how we can do more to help.

    Diane Davies

  6. Bruce Tarwater
    Posted June 29, 2011 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    I always love your photos from Japan, especially the children. I echo Diane’s wishes to know of other things we can do to help. Thanks for all that Socks for Japan has done, and is doing for all of us.

    Bruce Tarwater

  7. Donald Pesavento Jr
    Posted June 29, 2011 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    Right on, Socks!

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