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Generosity of American Public Helping Japan Transition from Relief to Recovery One Year Later

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With help from donations that were made to the American Red Cross following Japan’s tragic earthquake and Pacific tsunami on March 11th, 2011, the country is firmly on the path to recovery a year later.

“The donations of people in Western New York and across the country to the American Red Cross have been critical in moving Japan from a state of disaster relief to recovery and rebuilding,” said Nancy Blaschak, Executive Director of the American Red Cross, Serving Erie & Niagara counties. “Whether it’s offering emotional support to someone struggling with trauma, building much needed healthcare facilities, or providing appliances to a family moving into a temporary home, those donations to the Red Cross are helping the Japanese people look to the future.”

The American Red Cross was one of the largest private, international contributors to the Japan earthquake and Pacific tsunami response, raising more than $312 million. One year later, virtually all of the funds have been spent. Because of these donations, the Japanese Red Cross was able to bring emergency comfort to those living in shelters and later able to provide the supplies and services needed to help them get back on their feet.

Locally, the Wegmans Family Foundation made a $100,000 donation to the relief efforts, while Wegmans stores allowed customers to make donations at the checkout. Delta Sonic raised $50,000 through the sale of items such as car wash booklets and air fresheners; over $20,600 was raised through a live, two-hour “Join Us to Help Japan” broadcast on WKBW-Channel 7; and hundreds of other individuals and organizations from across Western New York made contributions to the Japanese Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami Relief Fund.

Donations to the American Red Cross have helped the Japanese Red Cross:

  • Provide more than 316,000 survivors with necessary appliances for their temporary housing, including refrigerators, washing machines and rice cookers.
  • Support construction of four temporary hospitals, one permanent hospital and a community health clinic.
  • Rebuild a Red Cross nursing school that will train specialists in disaster medical care
  • Provide more than 87,000 people with health services through Japanese Red Cross mobile teams and temporary clinics.
  • Comfort 14,000 people by counselors trained to deal with disaster-related trauma.
  • Provide transportation and vaccinations for the elderly and educational support, temporary school gyms and play areas for children.
  • Improve the disaster response capacity of the Japanese Red Cross, so critical to saving lives.
  • "Our heartfelt thanks go to everyone who has generously donated funds through the American Red Cross and national societies in many other countries,” said Tadateru Konoe, president of the Japanese Red Cross and the International Federation of the Red Cross. “Through your support we have been able to help survivors regain their resilience and also increase our preparedness to face up to potential future disasters."

    More information on Red Cross relief and recovery efforts in Japan can be found in the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami One-year Update.