Fundraisers support Japan relief efforts

Victorians are showing their support for the thousands of people affected by the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan on March 11.

Several fundraising events cropped up across the city to collect donations for Japan.

The four largest Japanese-Canadian organizations in the city teamed up to create and sell T-shirts, printed with Japanese characters that say “Never give up, Japan.”

The organizations – the Japanese Friendship Society, the Victoria Nikkei Cultural Society, the Victoria Morioka Friendship Society and the Victoria Japanese Heritage Language School – will also run a series of fundraisers, starting this weekend at Hillside Mall. On Saturday (March 26), 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. there will be music, dance, activities, personal stories and a paper crane folding workshop. Donations will be taken and T-shirts will be for sale.

The groups set up a trust fund at Island Savings Credit Union branches to send money to the Consul General of Japan in Vancouver to support relief efforts.

At The Bubble Tea Place, 532 Fisgard St, all proceeds from tea and merchandise purchased after regular shop hours on Saturday from 7 to 9 p.m. will go to the Canadian Red Cross. Free sushi will also be available.

The Red Cross will also benefit from an event Sunday (March 27), called Hope Love Japan. Held at the Parkside Resort and Spa, 810 Humboldt St. from 1 to 5 p.m., there will be music by Masako Hockey and Satomi Edwards, a tea service, Japanese blessing, silent auction,  photo booth and crafts for kids.

B.C. Liquor Stores also collect donations for the Red Cross’ efforts in Japan.

Local musicians Connie Dunwoody and Marlon and Ryan Narciso teamed up to record a song,  Tears at Your Door. All proceeds from sales of the song through iTunes will go to relief in Japan.

ecardone@vicnews.com