Flight of Friendship—Volunteering in Japan

AP photo/The Yomiuri Shimbun, Reiri Kurihara

Disaster relief volunteering is always a delicate measure with timing. The quick arrival of skilled volunteers for emergency medical relief or shelter work is one thing, but when it can be effective and productive for the rest of us, as dedicated but lay volunteers, always takes a little longer. Elevate Destinations, with whom I did my post-earthquake volunteering in Haiti, has an inspiring focus on “Urgent Service” volunteer trips (including continuing work in Haiti as well as cleanup in the Gulf from the BP oil spill), and with their partner network of in-country NGOs, truly understands the timing.

Flight of Friendship is an Oregon-based organization that previously brought volunteers to projects in post-tsunami Thailand and post-hurricane New Orleans…and they are ready to get volunteers into the earthquake and tsunami-ravaged communities of Japan. Their humanitarian excursion is May 29-June 4, and while brief, is designed to have a definite impact (and like all volunteering, the person doing the volunteer work always comes away with more than the person or community being served. We truly help ourselves when helping others). The first days are in Tokyo to be briefed on conditions and expectations, then the group moves on to Sendai to assist at shelters, orphanages, and schools. It would be a huge thing to take on while the situation is still so raw.

Are you ready? They are definitely ready for you.

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