Letters From Survivors

From our care letter creation page: “If you would like to create the possibility of a reply from people who receive your socks, include your contact info, which recipients 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.”

To our great surprise, many survivors have already reached out to donors with emails, paper letters, and even occasional phone calls. This is the page to collect them.

Did you receive a reply from somebody who received your socks and letter from us? If so, please share it here — and don’t fix the English if it’s rough. Rough English is part of the charm, and a fact of life in Japan. Keeping it rough is keeping it real.

If you received an email in Japanese and don’t know what it means, copy it into a comment below and our team of enchanting language elves led by Makiko Oku — of care letter creation page fame — will magically transform it into English for you.

If you just want to read the joy that this global effort has created in Japan’s disaster zone, browse through the comments below. When small gestures make a big impact, we should all sit up and bask in the glow of our human family at its finest.

Happy sharing!

19 Comments

  1. Elana
    Posted April 19, 2012 at 11:56 pm | Permalink

    I was very touched to receive this email. This was in my inbox June of 2011:

    “Hello. Received a warm socks. I get happy tears … thank you. Japan still must
    work hard. Going to overcome the hardships together. Thank you very much.

    ありがとうございましたm(_ _)m”

  2. Posted August 11, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    These are such great stories. I am so sorry that we forgot to put our email on our letters. Never mind. It IS a small world and I still believe I will meet or hear from someone, one day, who received our socks. I really do!
    Thank you for keeping in touch, Jason.

  3. Sarah DuVal
    Posted July 14, 2011 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    I received the following wonderful gift of an email today:

    Dear Sarah

    Thank you for your thoughtful present!
    I got it about three weeks ago from my daughter’s elementary school.

    My daughter(Miu), her friends,other students and I were very glad.
    These socks are my daughter’s favorite. She often wears them to school.
     
    Some furniture and many dishes in our house were damaged in the earthquake.
    But Tsunami stoped to within 100m of my house. We were lucky.
    Many student’s house near the coast and river were destroied in Tsumani.
    We were disappointed!
    But you made us happy!!
    I wish to express my appreciation.
     
    Thank you!! sincerely,

    Shukuko(祝子) and Miu(美羽)

  4. Bonnie
    Posted June 14, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    Hi. I received an email from a recipient of the socks that my girl scout troop collected. Thank you, Socks for Japan, for all of your hard work!
    ———————
    Hello. Nice to meet you.
    My name is Reina.
    I live in Onagawa town in Miyagi Japan.
    My family received the disaster on March 11.
    I lived in the close vicinity of the sea.The house has collapsed by the tsunami.
    It was lucky, and the family who lived together was safe.However, the grandfather is missing still.

    Socks were gotten on June 4.
    Volunteer’s people brought it.
    Volunteer’s name is “socks for Japan”.
    I was glad because in Miyagi Prefecture, there was still a cold day, too.
    And, it was impressed by the geniality of people in the world.
    I can meet you through “Socks for Japan” and is happy.

    Thank you very very mach 🙂

    • Posted June 19, 2011 at 2:38 am | Permalink

      I can’t recall Reina specifically, but I remember the day well because it’s when we distributed our 100,000th pair of socks. How wonderful that she’s happy to have met you through Socks for Japan and is “impressed by the geniality of the people in the world.” So am I.

    • Posted August 11, 2011 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      Guess what, Bonnie? I’m pretty sure we figured out who your Reina is and, amazingly, she’s the one to whom I gave a Rolling Stones CD on our last Phase I distribution! Can you believe that? Read about her here.

      • Bonnie
        Posted August 11, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

        Jason, that is fabulous that you got to meet her twice and have a picture posted of her. It sure makes the world seem smaller when things like this happen. School starts this week and our girl scout troop will be meeting soon. I’m thrilled to be able to tell them about Reina and show her picture. It makes their effort more “real” to actually know about a survivor and recipient of our socks.

        Thank you again for your efforts. You truly are a blessing.
        Bonnie

        • Posted August 11, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

          Thank you and the scouts for helping. If you can, please take a photo of them looking at Reina’s photo. Send it along or post it at our Facebook page, and I’ll see if we can get it to her this autumn!

  5. Elizabeth Wilson
    Posted June 6, 2011 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    I received this email several weeks ago.I would like for Naoko to know that I was honored to help.

    Hello, I’m Naoko Tojima, I live in Japan, Miyagi pref.

    I reseived yours heart-warming gift & prayers, Thankyou.

    I will use this socks & I thank you from the bottom of my
    heart for your kindness.

    With Love.

    For Mrs.Wilson’s Developmental Life Skills Class

    From Naoko Tojima & famillies

  6. Wendy
    Posted June 6, 2011 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    It brings tears to my eyes reading the thank you letters and blessed be you who have donated both socks, and time and energy and prayers..my heart is with you all and with so many others dealing with the aftermath of natural disasters……..When it all gets a bit too grim, I try to find something that will bring a smile to my face and remind me that living in the present, with wonderful new future dreams, is a good place to be……

  7. Anonymous please
    Posted May 30, 2011 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    I received a thank you email in Japanese.

    くつしたをありがとう。

    ありがとうのきもちでいっぱいです。

    This translates as: Thank you for the socks. I am so filled with gratitude. Thank you very much.

  8. Kathy Sakamoto
    Posted May 29, 2011 at 3:27 am | Permalink

    This is a letter we received from a family in Ishinomaki. They thought our names were” Jose and Lisa” because our handwriting was terrible-they mistook ‘San Jose, USA’ for the aforementioned names! One of us figured it out – after awhile! (^.^)

    *****
    Thank you for sending socks

    靴下を送ってくれてありがとう。
    世界中の人たちが、私たちを支えてくれている事を心から感謝します。

    あれから1ヶ月がたち、少しづつですが元に戻るように私たちはがんばっています。
    こうやってメールで「ありがとう」を伝えることも出来るようになってきました。

    日本人は負けません、忍耐と助け合い心で必ず町を再興します。
    これからも私たちを見守ってください、あなたたちの思いが私たちの力になるから。

    本当にありがとう 秀悦、千賀子、典汰、好誠、兼栄より。

    Thank you for sending socks.
    We wish sincerely to express our gratitude for the thing that supports us by people all over the world and is.

    We are holding out as being return to the origin in one month though a little.
    It has come to be able to tell “Thank you” with mail by doing so.
    The Japanese is not defeated, and revives the town without fail with endurance by the mind of helping.
    Watch us in the future, and because your desires help us.

    Thank you from syuuetu,Chikako, tenta.kousei,kenei
    They are sons of us who sends the photograph. (they sent a photo of their three children-we’ve written back since, and they’ve replied once. We’re hoping to keep in touch!)

  9. Eileen
    Posted May 29, 2011 at 2:51 am | Permalink

    On 4/27/11 7:17 AM,” wrote:

    >Dear Miss
    >Hello. Socks and the crayon reached us on April 6. I cried. Because it
    >was glad. We want sincerely to express our gratitude. My child lost all
    >toys because of the tsunami. The crayon was a glad present for the child.
    >My child is wishing to grow up to man who is kind like you and has energy.
    >
    >
    >FROM Kie Hino

  10. Elizabeth Wilson
    Posted May 28, 2011 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

    We received this email from Naoko Tojima:

    Hello, I’m Naoko Tojima, I live in Japan, Miyagi pref.

    I reseived yours heart-warming gift & prayers, Thankyou.

    I will use this socks & I thank you from the bottom of my
    heart for your kindness.

    With Love.

    For Mrs.Wilson’s Developmental Life Skills Class

    From Naoko Tojima & famillies

  11. rose Yamauchi
    Posted May 28, 2011 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    it was good to hear your comments . We are a seniors citizen group of ladies
    Can we be of future assistance?

    Rose Yamauchi, rs70717 @yahoo. com
    life Story Writers,
    Long Beach California.

    • Makiko Oku
      Posted May 29, 2011 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      Hi Rose-san — Do you want your message to be translated to Japanese? Let me know!

  12. Becky Mitchell
    Posted May 28, 2011 at 2:57 am | Permalink

    I received an e-mail on April 9, 2011, from a very kind man who received a pair of socks I sent. I am still speechless, as I didn’t really expect to hear from anyone. He lost his eldest daughter (4 yrs old) and son (1 yr old) in the tsunami; his wife lost her parents. Their loss weighs heavy on my heart.

    A bit is lost in translation, but his message of thanks is clear. I printed his e-mail and posted it on my bulletin board. I am grateful for the connection.

    I can’t say it enough…Jason and volunteers, thank you for offering a way for me (us) to help the earthquake/tsunami survivors. You’re kind, professional, and well organized — you should feel good about your efforts. I enjoy your distribution reports and photos, even though the content and stories sadden me. Your coverage of the tragedy’s humanistic side is much appreciated. We don’t get that type of news in the US; it’s been overshadowed by the nuclear crisis.

    My experience with Socks for Japan has reminded me that the act of simple kindness is amazingly rich.

    Below is the original e-mail message I received:

    ********
    My name is Hideki Sugiyama.
    I got your warm consideration today.
    I think that I am really glad.
    I lost both of four-year-old eldest daughter with one-year-old eldest son because of the tsunami.
    In addition, my wife has lost her parents.
    It is not possible to have gone back any longer though it is a really painful thing.
    It turns ahead little by little and it walks though the psychological trauma doesn’t heal. This kindness is never forgotten though might not be able to return. Thank you really.
    iPodから送信

  13. Thanya Suwansawad
    Posted May 28, 2011 at 2:37 am | Permalink

    This is a heartwarming email I received from Shigemi. I’m glad that even a small gesture can really be meaningful to someone.
    =========

    Dear Friends Thanya and lnna, Leslie, Isaac, Patsy, Kevin, Dylan, Jenny, Brad, Michelle, Patrick, Joanne, Maggie, Jon, Tandeeka, Salee in San Francisco,

    I’m Shigemi. I live in Sendai Miyagi.
    I really would like to say thank you.
    We have got socks that you sent.
    We are so happy to your help and prayers.
    Now we spend hard time.
    But you bring us a lot of cheer.
    We feel warm with your thoughts and hearts.
    We are not alone.

    Thank you so much for your kindness.

    Sincerely
    Shigemi

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