Omocha Express - Toy Charity for Japan's Children


First Distributions Are Completed!
On Monday, February 21st the first round of wooden toy trains, art supplies, and books were delivered to four preschools and day care centers in Iwate prefecture. Omocha Express president Matthew Davis and his wife were able to attend as they scheduled their vacation to Iwate to coincide with the distributions to participate!

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First Round of Distributions Are Scheduled!
We are excited to announce the first round of distributions of the toys and art supplies purchased by Omocha Express and donated books is scheduled for February 21st to three schools and daycare centers in Iwate. After we get a little feedback from these first three Centers we will be doing larger purchases and selecting more kindergartens and day care centers to receive these materials. We plan to continue this process until all our funding is exhausted.

H-ART VOOR JAPAN Donation Received
The first donation of $6,800 from the H-ART VOOR Japan auction was just transferred to Omocha Express! This very successful auction in the Netherlands has raised a significant amount of funds for relief efforts for Japanese kids. They have selected Omocha Express as a primary recipient of the funds they raised. These funds will be used soon for our second, larger round of toy and art supply purchases and distributions.

First Round of Toys and Art Supplies are Purchased
The first round of over $1000 of toys and art supplies have been purchased for the first three day care centers selected. We found wonderful wooden Japanese train sets and have purchased multiple sets for each center. Art paper and crayons have also been purchased for the Centers. This first round of distribution is being used as a test run to work out the details of purchasing the goods in japan and getting them delivered. We will then assess the items and process after the items are at the Centers for a while and we get some feedback on them.

Three Daycare Centers Selected to Receive Gifts
IRC and the Sanriku Railway have been busy planning our first distribution of gifts. They found a whopping 47 kindergartens and daycare centers in the affected area! So far, we have selected three daycare centers to receive gifts:

  • Raga Children's House in Shimohei-gun
  • Omoto Kindergarten in Omoto
  • Kamaishi Kindergarten in Kamaishi

Shimohei-gun and Omoto are located on the coast of Iwate along the Sanriku Railway's North Rias Line, and Kamaishi is the northern terminus of the South Rias Line. We are trying to focus on centers and schools that have not received large amounts of relief efforts from other agecies or the government.

Netherlands Art Auction to support Omocha Express
A group of artists related to CBKU, a non-profit print shop in Utrecht, the Netherlands, is having an art auction to support Japanese relief efforts. Their goal is to help schools in the devastated region, and they have selected Omocha Express as their beneficiary! The auction will be held on November 13th. The web site is in Dutch, but you can see the artwork even if you don't speak the language.

or try the google translation of the website

Japanese Writer and Illustrator Plan to Donate Books
When they heard about our project, Japanese author Fumiko Takeshita and illustrator Mamoru Suzuki offered to donate a number of their books "Senro wa Tsuzuku" and "Senro wa Tsuzuku Mada Tsuzuku" to our efforts. These children's books tell a story about overcoming obstacles as the characters build a railroad. The message of perseverance is relevant to the task of rebuilding in Japan, and we imagine that years down the road, many of these kids will enjoy sharing the books with their own children. Thank you, Ms. Takeshita and Mr. Suzuki!

Omocha Express Launched (May 14th, 2011)
We are very happy to announce Omocha Express charity is launched to aid victims of the March 11, 2011 Earthquake disaster. It has taken us time to set up the legal arrangements here on the US side as well as let our sister club in Japan, the Iwate Rail Modelers' Circle get stabilized and set up arrangements on their end in Japan. We hope the campaign will gain speed quickly now. Please contact us if you have any questions or are interested in aiding in the effort and you can donate online here. We will be posting more news and information as the project grows and begins to take root!


Omocha Express - Toy Charity for Japan's Children

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