Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Letter from an Air Force Family in Fukushima and Yokota

I am usually leery of "humanitarian aid" requests from anyone other than the well-known international agencies immediately after major natural disasters -- in my profession I am keenly aware of the ways scammers will take advantage of major events to prey on our good will.

However, in this case two personal friends are involved in collecting and delivering aid to the people of Fukushima that have been largely passed over due to the fear of radiation exposure.  I went to college with Michelle and Aron, and spent many hours serving alongside them at the Baptist Student Ministry.  I trust that what they are doing is legitimate.

Michelle's message follows:

Subject: Fukushima relief please forward
My name is Michelle Pena, a proud American, military wife at Yokota AB! My husband, Capt. Aron Pena, a United States Air Force officer is working directly in delivering humanitarian relief to the Japanese people through the C-130 Hercules. We are members of Yokota Baptist Church ( and have collaborated with our friend, Wendy Iwamoto, director of Cross English School in supporting relief efforts specifically to the people of Fukushima prefecture who have limited resources due to the fear of radiation exposure.

As you may have seen via the media, many agencies are helping the victims here. We, too, are joining together in assisting our community. Here is information from our friend Wendy:

******************************************************Dear friends and families,

As you know, a massive earthquake and tsunami struck the Northern Japan and it has sparked a nuclear crisis in Japan. Right now Japan is more in the life-saving, immediate-response mode. This has led to a delay in the recovering acts in the disaster-stricken area. Although lots of efforts have been put in to deliver relief goods to the victims in the devastated areas where hundreds of thousands of them are forced to stay in the evacuation centres, it is still not enough. As has been reported in the news, from the fear of radiation in Fukushima, very little aids and helps have reached the victims there. They have been bypassed although they are desperately in need of primary supplies such as food, medicines and water. Thereupon, a volunteering group under Global Mission Chapel in Iwaki City in Fukushima Prefecture has stood up and took a leading role in delivering the relief goods to the victims there directly with their own trucks and vehicles. Here at Cross English School (where I work), we are deeply touched and encouraged by their courage in showing their love by risking their own lives. In response to that, we have decided to show our support by setting up a relief goods collecting center here. What we do is, we let people who want to make their donation of relief goods know that they can bring them to us at Cross English School within operating hours. We will divide the goods according to their categories and have them picked up to be distributed to the victims in Fukushima Prefecture.

Operating hours: Weekdays (Mon-Fri 2-6p.m.) from 22nd of March to 8th of April.
Where: Cross English School
197-0024 Court Advance 202, Ushihama 128, Fussa-City.
(right in front of t he East exit of Ushihama station)
What we need: Food, medicine, baby products (diapers, wipers, formula, bottles, baby food etc), adult-diapers, blankets and so on.
Persons in charge: Wendy Iwamoto, Mami Otsuba
Contact: 042-539-2299

The flow of the distributing route:
Cross English School (Ushihama) →Tokyo Shibuya Gospel Church (Shibuya, Tokyo) →Global Mission Centre (Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture) →different evacuation centers, homes for the aged, hospitals and so on (the disaster-stricken areas)
For those of you who can send your relief goods directly to the following address in Shibuya, Tokyo, please do so. This will enable the distributing process goes smoother hence faster. However, please do not try to send them directly to Fukushima because all the delivery companies have stopped their routes there.
Tokyo Shibuya Fukuin Kyoukai
150-0036 Nanpeidai-Machi 6-17, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

TEL 03-3463-1364 
FAX 03-3463-1369 
E-mail [email protected]

Information on the volunteering group in Fukushima
Name: Global Mission Centre
Conducted by: Global Mission Chapel(Taira kirisuto Fukuin Church)
Director: Pastor Moriaki
Leaders on the spot: Pastor Ikarashi Yoshitaka, Pastor Abe Toshiya
Address: Amako-Mchi2-7, Taira Aza, Iwaki-City, Fukushima Prefecture.
What they do: Collecting and distributing the relief goods, Counseling, providing shelters and so on. Currently, they are in partnership with the city hall of Iwaki City as they carry out their activities there.

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. May God bless you and be with you always.

In Christ,
Wendy Iwamoto
(School Manager of Cross English School)


How can you help? We are asking for monetary contributions so that items can be bought here. It would save money on shipping as it can be very expensive to ship to Japan. We can guarantee that 100% of the funds will be used for the victims of the Fukushima prefecture. A receipt will be provided for tax purposes.

Please send any money contributions via check to:

Yokota Baptist Church

C/o Michelle Pena
PSC 78 Box 3086
APO, AP 96326

Any questions, please contact me at 210-881-4360 (Japan time is 14 hours ahead of US central time), email at [email protected], via Skype name michellefpena, or Facebook – Michelle Flores Pena.

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