Kelly Walsh Raises Money for Japan

Drew Douglas reports,

While the people in Japan continue to try and rebuild their communities...students at Kelly Walsh High School are pledging their support with Operation Tomodachi, or Operation Friendship.

Kaoru Slotsve teaches Japanese at Kelly Walsh High School and organized Operation Tomodachi to help those in Japan.

She said while her family is okay all the way across the country, she knows how much help Japan needs right now.  The Kobe native experienced an earthquake 16 years ago that took the lives of 6,000 people.
"I thought I should do something rather than watch and cry and say 'O my gosh!'," Slotsve said.

Slotsve and two dozen Kelly Walsh students have set up stands to raise money for the Red Cross.

Donations of a dollar gets you a bookmark with your name in Japanese, $5 gets you a Japanese message and if you give $10 or more, your picture will be taken for part of a collage so the people of Japan can see the faces of those who have offered their support.

"This kind of thing makes victims keep going and move on," Slotsve said.

Linda Schmiedt makes her own jewelery and is giving 100 percent of the proceeds to help the victims of the devastating earthquake and tsunami from almost two weeks ago.  She's doing it to help her good friend Kaoru.

Jordan, Katie, Emma and Alex are also helping out their sensei, as they call Slotsve, by giving up lunches so Japanese victims can eat theirs.

"With this hitting Japan, it hit the heartstrings," Sophomore Katie Kersting said.  "We felt bad for so many people."

The student volunteers are the ones writing the characters on the bookmarks.

"We get a little more experience in writing and we're also helping.  We're doing it for a cause," Kersting said.

Slotsve says she is amazed by the support and generosity so far, raising $500 already.  That's well on the way to their goal of $2,000.

"When I get back to Japan this summer, I will definitely talk about this community, this school and all the kids," Slotsve said.  "I'll show the photo collage and say these are the people you might not know, but they thought about you and they support you."

The jewelery sale will continue all day Friday and the donation stands will be set up through next Thursday at Kelly Walsh High School.

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