Due to the overwhelming response to Yarn Alive – it now has its own Blog site. Please visit here: Yarn Alive
We are overwhelmed with the response of people wanting to donate to Yarn Alive. Thank you! Please see our “Get Involved” Page for details on how to donate.
Laughter, silly games, an abundance of good food, lots of presents and smiles (and a few joyful tears) – tis certainly the season!
With the help of some amazing supporters, Yarn Alive was able to throw Christmas parties for both the Tuesday and Wednesday classes. Thank you so much for the kind donations of scarves and hats (Scarves 4 Japan), 2012 calendars (Noel Yang), gifts from South Africa (Annalie de-Wet) and money contribution (Dellming)! The temporary housing shelters certainly felt festive and joyful!
Yarn Alive has been an amazing initiative that has been running for the past 6 months. These ladies today kept grabbing Teddy Sawka’s hand and saying how thankful they were to Yarn Alive and that they are excited each week to gather for class.
One lady shared with Teddy that she has “no hope and no future but yarn gives [her] something to do and it’s so much fun”.
From Japan Alive, we want to wish everyone a very merry Christmas and hope that 2012 brings greater joy, laughter and LIFE!
[Want to see more photos? Check out: http://s1202.photobucket.com/albums/bb372/yarnalive/]
Last month, Japan Alive got to represent in Watari. This month, 79.2MHz radio station asked us to come back and share on the radio about Domestic Violence.
It has been found that since the great earthquake, domestic violence has increased in Japan. Therefore there is a great need for education on how to best deal with anger along with where to get more help. So today, it was a great privilege to be able to share on their radio about what domestic violence is, what to do and where to seek more help.
We were also able to pass on a large load of beautifully knitted blankets, scarves, and hats that the women of Yarn Alive in Shichigahama made. These women feel that they have been given much so they want to now give to others who also lost everything. These items will be given out to listeners of the radio station in Watari.
Although traffic nearly got the best of us, we finally made it Watari in time to be interviewed at 79.2MHz radio station!
This radio station was birthed after the tsunami as a means of giving the town information. It now runs 6 segments a day, 7 days a week with a dedicated group of 13 volunteers.
We were then taken to the Health Clinic nearby, where we were able to give them muslin wraps for the expecting mothers, our free magazine, and a box of towels, hand cream and other helpful items. Although they had refused these items months ago, with this new contact we have, they gratefully accepted our gift and even asked for more! Seems the door is now wide open!
From there, we were then invited to the “Community Cafe” – a wonderful cafe for the people of Watari to come together, enjoy each other’s company and eat good food for only 200yen!
On arrival to the cafe, a group of ladies bumped into us in the car park and immediately recognized us as being the voices on the radio that they just heard! They were so thankful for our contribution.
This Community Cafe is such a hub! Within opening, people packed out the small building leaving others to peer through the windows to see if there was any room. This cafe serves not only food but as a place for a variety of events to take place including knitting, reading area, computer access, and even a place to leave charitable goods and pick out whatever you want. It is certainly a place where “life” happens! And we like that :-)
Stay tuned in the next coming weeks to hear the awesome story and heart that this women below has (founder of this Community Cafe). You may just have found that very “cause” you were looking for to give towards this Christmas! Ooh the suspense…
Watari certainly experienced some bad times earlier this year, but good times are now ahead! Here’s to new opportunities, new relationships, increased hope and restoration!
Today a knitting class in Watari was birthed and Yarn Alive was invited to join in its new beginnings! This area was terribly affected by the March 11 earthquake/tsunami and yet they are continuing to hope for a brighter future and finding new opportunities!
After hearing of the Yarn Alive initiative in Shichigahama, this group in Watari believed that they could have a similar program that would make a difference in their community. This particular group that met today take shelter in temporary housing that accommodates up to 500 homes – it is quite the scene!
The amazing thing to note is that since the great earthquake, many new opportunities have opened. For instance, a reporter, who was at the knitting class today, shared with us how herself and 2 other people started a radio program after the earthquake because there was no information being given to the people in this area. They felt the need to inform the people of what was happening – even though they had no previous experience in this area! They now run a radio program that runs 24 hours a day!
With that in mind, we asked her if she knew of any young mothers who meet together in that area. She mentioned another shelter that had many young mothers and babies. We showed her the muslin wraps that London Mothers donated to us, and she got really excited about them. She took the small amount that we had and will hand them out but also mentioned that they have a special package that they give to expecting mothers and that she would love to place the muslin wraps into that package. So more contact will be made which means more impact! New opportunities are awesome!