The Finger Lakes Times recently featured the Colleges’ efforts to aid Japan following the devastating earthquake. The article noted Kyoko Klaus, Tanaka lecturer in Asian languages and cultures, is from one of the most ravaged regions. More than $8,000 was raised by HWS community members and sent to Klaus’ hometown.
“I’m very thankful,” the article quotes Klaus. “Even at the barn sale, where the people were coming for bargains, I thought I would make about $50, so I took about 50 origami cranes (to sell for a dollar each). They were so generous; I made over $200. People are just so warm, I was so thankful.”
There were a number of efforts not included in the article, including ArtFest.
The article also notes a story about HWS’ fundraising efforts ran in Yomiuri Shimbun, one of Japan’s largest newspapers.
The full article follows.
Finger Lakes Times
HWS Efforts Make News in Japan
One of country’s largest papers runs story about fundraising here
Susan Clark Porter • June 14, 2011
When Kyoko Klaus learned of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that ravaged her homeland March 11, she quickly turned her despair into action. Klaus engaged the Hobart and William Smith Colleges community (where she is the Tanaka lecturer in Asian languages and cultures) in several fundraisers to aid the victims of the tragedy. Last week, the fruits of those efforts were sent to her hometown – Asahi, Japan – in the form of more than $8,000.
“I’m very thankful,” Klaus said last week. “Even at the barn sale, where the people were coming for bargains, I thought I would make about $50, so I took about 50 origami cranes (to sell for a dollar each). They were so generous; I made over $200. People are just so warm, I was so thankful.”
Selling cranes at the barn sale was just one of several fundraisers. Others included:
• The Taikonnection drum concert sponsored by the Asian Student Union, Smith Opera House and Zotos;
• Proceeds from artwork sold by the Department of Art and Architecture;
• Donations from professors, former students and students; of Nations, in concert with Geneva High School.
Klaus’ parents and brothers still live in Asahi (population of 70,000), where Klaus was raised and where the Colleges’ help has not gone unnoticed.
One of Japan’s biggest daily newspapers, the Yomiuri Shimbun, published a story April 21 about Geneva’s fundraising for Japan (see sidebar).
Klaus’ mother sent it to her daughter, who in turn sent her copies of the HWS Herald detailing the Geneva fundraising efforts and which Klaus’ mother distributed at a shelter in a school gym.
The Yomiuri article came about thanks to a Skype conference and panel discussion aimed at putting the two communities in touch. The discussion was organized by Katie Flowers, director of the Colleges’ Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning, and Alejandra Molina, director of Intercultural Affairs. Called “Global Solidarity for Japan: Communities Coming Together to Respond to Japan’s National Tragedy,” the discussion was held April 19 and attracted about 35 people.
It was moderated by Provost Teresa Amott and included former student Jake Derector, who was in Japan when the earthquake and tsunami struck, as well as HWS students Gabrielle Perez, Ruiwan Xu and Andrew Upton, assistant professor of psychology Julie Kingery and professor James Henry-Holland of the Asian Languages and Culture Department, who served as translator. In Japan, the participants included Asahi’s mayor as well as those directly affected by the tragedy.
“The [Yomiuri] newspaper was already there with the mayor and everybody,” Klaus said. But just because they’ve sent some money, Klaus doesn’t consider her job done. She and Molina are talking about having another Skype conference to reconnect the two communities.
“We don’t want this to be we donate money, then nothing,” she said. “We want to follow up.” Flowers said the Colleges’ response to Japan’s hardship has been inspiring, as has Klaus’ commitment. “She’s not letting people forget, which is obviously really important,” Flowers said.