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  • Your Prayers Aren’t Enough | A Month After Northern Japan’s Earthquake and Tsunami

    Apr 14 | Evan | 1 Comment |

    Please take 5 minutes to watch this video before reading my post, make sure to watch to they very end:

     

    It’s been more than a month now since the tsunami destroyed the lives and washed away entire cities in literally a matter of minutes.  As somebody with a personal connection to Japan and directly with Miyagi, Japan, I’m still heartbroken and I am not sure if I will ever really get over this.  What I am feeling is nothing compared to what those still over there are feeling.  We don’t know what is going to happen with the nuclear plant in Fukushima, but I do know that the news is taking a lot of attention away from where it needs to be now: the people of Northern Japan. For probably 99% or more of the public, there is nothing we can do to help the nuclear power plant, but everyone can donate a little to help the victims in Northern Japan. Some numbers to consider:

     

    • 13,456/14,851: Confirmed deaths and still missing.
    • 100,000: Number of estimated orphans from the tsunami.  They didn’t just lose their parents and families, most lost EVERYTHING (yes I know typing all caps is like yelling and annoying).  All of their possessions.  Some don’t even have anything to remember their families by.  Some don’t even have their own hometown anymore.  Please take a moment to think about that.  Think about literally having everything you own, everything that is important to you, taken from you 7 minutes from now, without warning.
    • 4 days:  The donation totals after 4 days, Haiti–150 Million, Katrina–108 million, Japan–23 million. After two weeks, Japan had received an estimated 161 million, 11 weeks after Katrina, 2.7 billion had been privately donated.
    • 309 billion:  Estimated damges, Japan 309 billion dollars, about 4 times the estimated damages in Katrina.

     

    I mentioned the orphans, but many families, mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers, are in very similar situations.  Those lucky enough to have escaped with their lives, a lot of them have lost everything else. Again, I ask you to think about losing everything that is important to you and furthermore, if everyone in your town lost everything as well.  Whether you are kid or an adult, how do you cope with that?  You can’t by yourself.  You need others to help.  Time to be honest.  I’m not saying that prayer isn’t helpful nor denying that prayer can be very powerful, but your prayers aren’t enough.  If prayer was all that was needed to get things done, the world would be a lot better off.  Please continue to pray for Japan, but if you haven’t found another way to help besides prayer, I beg you to consider finding a way donate to Japan.  Japan needs our help.   Even if it means you don’t drink your daily coffee for a day or two (or week) or one less drink while going out, maybe share a meal with somebody one day, anything you can afford to send to Japan will be helpful. There are so many easy ways you can save a few dollars to donate.

    I am especially asking photographers to help.  I think it is fair to say that almost all professional photographers use equipment from Japan.  Japan has given us the tools we need to make a living doing what we love.  Photographers, please give back to Japan.  There are so many ways you can do this. How about you take the money from the next print you sell and donate that to Japan.  If all photographers did something similar, the impact would be huge.

    Even with my poor spelling, grammar and writing, maybe I have convinced somebody to donate to Japan. So where should the money go? Please just don’t go donate to the first group you find. Do some research. Make sure that the place you are giving to has a specific fund for Japan where 100% of the funds are guaranteed to go to Japan. Charity Navigator does a great job of explaining what you need to take into consideration before donating.  Many have reached out to me to ask where I have personally donated to.  I recommend you find something you believe in from the link I just provided for Charity Navigator or the google link, but with money I have collected through March Madness for Japan and The First Friday Raffle and Auction for Japan and other personal contributions, here is where I have sent our money:

     

    I don’t have children yet, but I do have a wife and my family. If my wife, sister, mom or dad, lost everything, and I had to choose only one between having you, pray or donate some money to help them somehow recover, I’d pick the donation. Of course having both is best, but again, I don’t believe that your prayers are enough to help with such a catastrophic and dramatic event. I challenge you to ask yourself the same question, if you had to only pick one, which one would it be? The time to help is now.

    My heart, thoughts, prayers and donations will continue to go to Japan and I humbly beg you to consider doing the same.

    *steps down from box*

    First Friday Raffle and Auction for Japan | April 1st Isaac Hunter’s Tavern in Raleigh

    Mar 27 | Evan | 3 Comments |

    Japan needs our help. 400 miles of coastline of Northern Japan was completely destroyed and in some cases literally wiped off the map. More than 350,00 have lost their homes, more than 1 million are without ample food, more than 2 million without water and who knows how many without medicine. Flu and infectious diseases/viruses are spreading in the shelters. It is winter and there is no gas/kerosine to heat homes/shelters. A lot of roads are still impassable. The sun will rise again, but Japan needs our help… Please take a look at these photos to see the devastation and horror that the earthquake and tsunami caused. The first 20 are courtesy of The New York Times and the last three from National Geographic.


    After organizing a successful March Madness for Japan (we raised $900! Thanks again to the 40+ people that participated) I have been working on another charity for event for Japan. This time it is a raffle and auction that will coincide with Raleigh’s First Friday, April 1st, 2011. Join me at Isaac Hunter’s at 6pm on Friday, April 1st to raise money for the relief effort in Japan. We’ll be raffling off tons of great prizes, including gift certificates to some of your favorite restaurants and stores. There will also be a silent auction for for some original artwork and handmade purses. Come out to support Japan, have some food, maybe a drink or two and also, enjoy some very cool artwork by local artist Rick White.

    You can buy Raffle tickets here online or at the event.  Tickets online start at $15 and this gets you 10 tickets.  You can put all your tickets toward one prize or you split it up on multiple prizes.  For every $15 you donate, you will get an additional 10 raffle tickets.  If you can not come to the event, you must contact Evan by 1pm Friday April 1st with how you would like to distribute your raffle tickets or if you plan on bidding on one of the auction items, which one and how much you are willing to pay.

    See the list below and check back as there might be late additions!

    Prizes for the Raffle:

    • $50 Gift Certficate to Neo-Asia (formally Neo-China) Neo-Asia has created a world in which you can indulge yourself in unique culinary art, distinctive décor, the soothing atmosphere and the unparalleled service you will receive each and every time you walk through their doors!
    • $50 Gift Certficate to Sushi Thai in Cary, serving both lunch and dinner, Sushi Thai offers a variety of lunch specials in addition to a children’s menu. Choose from Japanese teriyaki and tempura dishes and Thai rice and noodles.
    • (2) $50 Gift Certificates to Red Dragon in Raleigh (two winners chosen)!
    • $50 Gift Certficate to Jill’s Beach, the Triangle’s premiere tanning destination. With 5 locations and offering a variety of services, including spray and UV tanning.
    • (2) Gift Certificates each one valid for 2 Ultimate Curry Bowls at Martin’s Curry Rice (two winners will be chosen) Chef Martin’s creative genius blends authentic Thai, Indian, and Japanese recipes to cater to American tastes and come up with unique and outstanding sauces. The signature curries are the Red, Yellow, and Green Curries.
    • 10 Free Individual Meal Gift Certificates from Teriyakin’ Delicious. Winners can choose any plate meal from the menu including “The Works” which is worth $9.95. (multiple winners for this one)
    • Gift Certificate to Cold Stone Creamery
    • $15 Gift Certificate to Dunkin’ Donuts
    • 6 large jars of various products from Bertie County Peanuts (6 winners will be chosen), They have been in business since 1919 so they know what makes a good peanut!!
    • (2) 8×10 matted prints from photographer Mary Beth Short (2 winners will be chosen)
    • (5) 8×10 framed prints from Evan Pike Photography from the “Experience Japan” Series.  (5 winners will be chosen)
    • Exciting card game, “Cabo” with the cards illustrated by Adam Peele.
    • Originally silk screen printed on wood by Adam Peele.
    • Handmade Coin Purses by Chiharu Terada (multiple drawings for multiple prizes)

    Prizes for the Auction:


    All donations collected will go towards either Direct Relief International or Architecture for Humanity, both of which have funds where 100% will go towards Japan and both have 4 star ratings on Charity Navigator

     

     

     

    The Sun Will Rise Again | Tshirt for Japan

    Mar 18 | Evan | 2 Comments |

    A friend and local Raleigh artist, Adam Peele, has come up with a great new tshirt to raise money to help Japan. It’s been about one week since the earthquake and tsunami ruined the lives, homes and even complete cities of many Japanese residents. In some cases, all it took was 7 minutes for cities like Rikuzentakata to be wiped off the map. The following video is in Japanese, but you don’t need to understand Japanese to understand the video:

    Japan needs your help and one way you can help, is to buy one of Adam’s shirts. From their site:

    Our hearts are broken.
    100% of the profit from this shirt will go to the japanese red cross.
    Please let us know if you have any questions about the final destination of the proceeds.
    The text on the shirt says “the sun will rise again”

    Shirts are no longer available, thank you for your support!