Friday, April 1, 2011

The Importance of Helping Others...

We have been extremely busy lately at the Red Cross. With the relief efforts in Japan, local fires, and our Real Heroes Dinner, we have hardly had time to pick up a newspaper. However, I was reading my digital copy of the Fresno Bee when I saw this great article written from a local Valley resident who is hard at work in Japan. Check it out!

"In the last two weeks, John Lofgren's friends in the Fresno area have sent him more than 300 pounds of food, 240 space blankets, an immeasurable number of feminine hygiene products and 60 pounds of miscellaneous goods. They continue to collect donations, fill boxes and continue to ship because there is still an overwhelming need in Japan. If you would like to help, e-mail: and write "Johnny" in the subject line. 

John writes from Sendai: Yesterday, we got another box of food sent to Ishinomaki by way of Endo. Things are bad there still and some places are only accessible by foot or motorcycle. Endo had a mud-covered scooter in the back of the van this time and he's backpacking stuff in on it.

Today, we got two boxes from the incredibly posh Patrick Martin that included 40 sets of knit caps and gloves. It's still incredibly cold here during the night. Check the Sendai weather online and you'll understand how badly warm clothing is needed. Patrick also had some help buying these caps and gloves from his 8-year-old buddy named Brandon. A BIG THANK YOU to Brandon. Patrick too, of course.

Today was the first day we were able to buy heating fuel. I think it's been 17 days since the earthquake and we're still unable to get gasoline for our truck. Buying gas is possible, but there's still a good six-hour-plus wait. I hope by the weekend it will be down to a few hours. I have enough gas in the truck to get to a station, but not enough to get there and wait half a day. You see lots of people pushing their cars as they run out of gas while in line. I have a Land Cruiser. Those aren't so easily pushable, if you know what I mean.

On a sad note, I learned of an old guy who died of asphyxiation in his car while waiting in line for gas. He was waiting all night, not wanting to lose his place in line. This old-timer had some sort of charcoal stove IN the vehicle to keep warm. I suppose he nodded off, and he died. This illustrates how cold it is at night.

If you're wondering what other items still might be needed, I've heard there is a shortage on baby AND adult diapers.

As I am typing this another box has arrived! Thanks so much Cathleen (Caldwell) Genewick! A big thank you for this Kingsburgian."

It doesn't matter if you donate to John, or donate to the American Red Cross, as long as you give. To learn more about the Red Cross and the Japan Relief visit us online at