March 15, 2011
Please support Japan disaster recovery efforts
Like people around the world, we watch in horror the news and images of devastation coming out of Japan. We are particularly moved here in Hawaii and at the university, where so many people have ties to family members, friends and colleagues in Japan. So I take this opportunity to reach out to our alumni, students, parents, staff, faculty and all others associated with the University of Hawaii and ask for your help.
To malama, to care for, our friends, loved ones and even strangers is never more important than it is today. It will take so much from the people of Japan to recover from the disaster they have suffered. We must step up and kokua them as much as we can. Opening our homes, our hearts and our pocket books and sharing our resources, however bountiful or humble they might be, has always been a hallmark of local culture. Our many ties with Japan compel us to do what we can to assist in the recovery and rebuilding effort.
Just today I learned that the American company Microsoft, so integral to the way we are connected in the 21st century, has pledged $2 million dollars to earthquake relief. Our U.S. Navy has ships steaming to the area equipped with medical equipment and personnel, supplies and rescue machinery. You can even text the word “Japan” to 80888 and The Salvation Army will register your donation of $10, which will appear on your next cell phone bill.
Please join me in helping out, in whatever way you can, either through the international Red Cross or the local Hawaii chapter, or you can text REDCROSS to 90999 for a $10 donation as well. You can also make a donation at any branch of First Hawaiian Bank or Bank of Hawaii.
Thank you for your participation and support, and take care.
President, University of Hawaii
March 17 Update
UH organizations have responded quickly with just a week before spring break. Among the responses mounted on various campus, are these:
- An effort to "send a thousand prayers" by folding origami cranes and a fund drive at Hawaii Community College sponsored by Hawaii CC students from Japan. Read the article
- Crane folding workshops and collection of messages and donations at UH Hilo, coordinated by the UH Hilo Geography Department and the Center for Global Education and Exchange. Learn more
- A collection of cash donations and origami cranes at the UH Manoa Campus Center March 17 and 18 and a cell phone “candlelight” vigil planned March 18, sponsored by the International Student Association, International Business Organization and other student groups. Learn more
- Collection of more than $3,000 at Leeward Community College in a "circle of friendship" drive supported by the Student Government and Student Life Office. During a brief gathering, Philippine Deputy Consul General Paul Cortes offered a song and optimistic message: “May bukas pa na naghihintay&hellipSisikat din ang iyong araw” (There is still tomorrow waiting…Your sun will again rise.)
UH issues a media alert concerning UH students on study abroad programs in Japan.
In a news release, UH experts say risks to Hawaii from the situation at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant are extremely negligible.