We have chosen the Students of Takasago, Japan as our 2011 CARDS FOR A CAUSE charity card drive and could not be MORE excited!
Here is a letter from Stu Levy, a U.S. Manga/Anime publisher who is an American but lives and works in Japan:
"As you all know, Japan is going through a very challenging time. The 9.0 earthquake and the resulting tsunami caused significant damage to coastal towns throughout Miyagi and Iwate prefectures. The quake rattled and rocked us in Tokyo as well, resulting in food and gas shortages, electricity blackouts and transportation problems.
But the people north of Tokyo (in Miyagi and Iwate) have been living a nightmare. Over 400,000 victims have had their homes destroyed - and are now living in emergency shelters. Many have lost friends and family, as well as most of their worldly possessions.
This week I visited one of those shelters to deliver food, fuel and other provisions. The shelter is a junior high school in a harbor area of Sendai, Miyagi. The school (and neighborhood) is called Rikuzen-Takasago, shortened to TAKASAGO. There were over 1000 victims living in this shelter (at one point).
For the first few days after the earthquake, they had so little food that they had literally only one potato chip per person for the entire day. Two nights ago we prepared their first hot bowl of rice for them from the provisions we delivered. They still do not have electricity or heat, and when I was up there it was freezing cold and snowing. 30-80 people are scrunched into each classroom, sleeping on the floor with one or two blankets each. The victims are of all ages - and everyone is urgently cleaning the tsunami mud from the school so that disease doesn't spread.
Even in those circumstances, the victims are working hard as a team. They are cleaning together, cooking together, carrying the provisions, helping each other out - it's truly inspiring to see them fighting so hard to survive and overcome this tragedy.
What really stood out to me the most was the energy and spirit of the Takasago students. When we were building an outdoor cooking facility, they all labored on various tasks we assigned them - sweeping, washing, carrying gas tanks, laying down temporary flooring, and more. We worked as a team and I could tell how excited they were to be involved - they took a lot of pride in their hard work.
On the way home, I was listening to Japanese radio while taking turns driving the truck. The radio's DJ was reading letters from people throughout Japan who are cheering on the victims. It is very moving to hear these letters, but I realized that none of the victims can actually hear these messages because the shelters don't have electricity - so no radio.
That's when it dawned on me what WE can do together as the TOKYOPOP community. I remembered the students' excitement when they practiced some of their English phrases for me and when I taught them some of our American handshake styles (we have so many, after all). They laughed and jumped around trying to high-five each other in the "American" styles.
So, I thought, what if I gather letters from our community and deliver those letters to them? They can't read much English but so many of you can draw beautifully as well as write poems, simple letters, and even some decorative Japanese phrases. Maybe you can include a photo of yourself and friends (cosplay!) - or something about you. Anything to let the Takasago students know that you are cheering them on - and to put a smile on their face."
The Greeting Farm has decided to participate in sending cards, and most importantly SMILES to the people of Japan through this cause.
Please send your cards to:
Students of Takasago
c/o Stu Levy
Tokyo Towers, Mid-Tower 4918
6-3-2 Kachidoki, Chuo-ku
Tokyo, Japan 104-0054
PLEASE sign your cards with your name, and then write "In affiliation with The Greeting Farm, LLC "Cards for a Cause" drive w/ a link to our website, www.thegreetingfarm.com
Due to the higher cost of postage and international mail, we are asking that you please send the following to ENTER this CONTEST:
1.) Photo of your cards, items that you are sending the students
2.) scanned or photograph copy of post office receipt once they are sent off.
Please do this in ONE email. You can upload your cards to the TGF Galleria sooner but please do not email to enter the contest until both of the above have been completed, thank you!
EMAIL entries to yeahshestamps at Gmail dot com with the subject line: TGF CARDS FOR A CAUSE. This is VERY important you do so because the emails will be filtered to a special folder and without this exact subject line, could get missed!
ALL ENTRIES must be postmarked and emailed to Jessica at yeahshestamps at gmail dot com by WEDNESDAY, JUNE 15th, 2011.
ALL ENTRIES also must be uploaded to the TGF GALLERIA to be entered to win prizes. Upload to TGF Contests and Special Events > 2011 Cards for a Cause Drive.
HERE is what YOU can win:
1.) GRAND PRIZE to ONE RANDOM WINNER: ENTIRE July Release PLUS a $20 GC to TGF!!!!!
2.) HIGHEST # of cards donated wins a CREEPIN' kit or ROLL CALL kit-your choice!
3.) "TGF Good Wil AMBASSADOR" award to a person who spreads the word on Facebook by having their friends or family post "______ sent me and let me know about your Cards for a Cause drive!"
We will tally up the votes on Facebook at the end of the contest and draw a RANDOM winner amongst you guys. This person will win a 4x6 set and single of choice!
SO THERE you have it...the OFFICIAL rules, regs, and MORE for our 2011 Cards for a Cause drive!
THANK YOU and GOOD LUCK to all!