One of the traditions of celebrating Christmas is the act of giving. This can take the form of presents to each other, but also, it can mean giving to the poor. Not only money, but time as well. Serving the community and helping the least fortunate in our society is important to OIS. We have many initiatives from K – 12 led by our students and faculty that lend support to the poor.
- The Grade 1 students are collecting money, rice, soap, underwear, and sleeping bags for the homeless in Osaka. Our students regularly visit the Sannoh Childrens Center in Nishinariku. There is still time for you to donate to the cause, and you can find deposit boxes in the genkan.
- Grade 11 student Sawako Tachibana is promoting the Nozomi Project, a non-profit organization helping women in the Ishinomaki region. Nozomi means “hope” in English and one of the initiatives Nozomi Project does is take broken pottery left in the wake of the tsunami and turn it into beautiful jewelry. Sawako is raising funds to give to the organization.
- The SOIS Eco Club continues to collect paper for Gyokokai, a shelter for formerly homeless, physically disabled people in the Nishinariku part of Osaka. They are also starting to collect aluminum. Gyokkai collects the paper monthly for processing. The Eco Club also purchased 20 planters with the grades 3 and 4 students are adopting. They will take care of the plants and place them in the balcony in front of the elementary classrooms.
- The elementary school through fundraising efforts donated $450 to Bobonaro, a NGO providing potable water in schools in Timor Leste. This was done through Kopernik, whose founder, Toshi Nakamura, an Osakan native, started. He visited our school last year.
- Other donations from OIS went to Canaan Village, a facility near Fukushima that houses adults with disabilities and to the School of Hope in Cambodia.
- The grade 11 service trip this March will be to Cebu, Phillipines. They are raising money and building a playground for the children at a disadvantaged school.
- The grade six students visited ARK (Animal Refuge Kansai) and also raised funds for the refuge.
- The grade 10 students are working with our neighbor, the Senri Rehabilitation Hospital. They volunteer and assist speech pathologists, physical therapists and other specialists with the patients.
I would like to wish everyone in our community a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Let this time of peace and giving inspire you to help others.