The Fruit Tree Project Kesennuma, Miyagi

International (US tax deductible) donations are now being accepted online thanks to Second Harvest Japan!!! Please donate through our Virtual Food Drive today!

April 26, 2011 *UPDATE*

First off, A BIG THANKS to everyone for all the support and well wishes throughout this whole process.  These past few weeks have been a bit crazy, and we can’t thank everyone enough for working to make this project a reality. Right now, we have somewhere between 400,000 – 500,000yen!  Which is amazing!  Donations are still coming in daily, even though we have not reached the original goal of over 1,000,000yen, it is so nice to see donations and support coming from all over the world.

Some quick updates from the shelter.  School has started back up, so people have been moved from the classrooms to the gymnasium.  The shelter has also decreased in size, which is great news because people are settling into more permanent housing.  The 3 shelters combined consist of about 930 people compared to 1,100 people during our first visit.  We are planning to deliver fruit everyday until the money runs out.  After the fruit has been delivered for the day, we are planning on volunteering somewhere in or around Kesennuma.  We have also been given permission to do some fun activities with the kiddos at the shelters, so bring your best game ideas from elementary school!

Though these past weeks have been a bit hectic, volunteerAKITA has been accomplishing so much!  The relief trip this past Sunday to Miyako, Iwate was a huge success, while donations for The Fruit Tree Project continue to grow daily.

THANKS again for all the support and love from all over the world.

April 13, 2011 *UPDATE*



Hey folks, this is the funds proposal I have been sending out in hopes of receiving funding to get this project rolling.  Please take a look and definitely get back to me with your thoughts/opinions. Also feel free to pass it along to anyone who might be interested in supporting this project.  10 days you might ask?  Well, plain and simple, it would be very difficult to sustain this project long term, considering how grassroots our efforts are at this moment. BUT, this project will raise awareness of this issue and hopefully set an example and challenge larger organizations and government programs to continue to provide fruits!!! Minami and I were SHOCKED when we found out that there was a wholesale fruit market in Kesennuma with an abundance of fruit, yet people in shelters were not receiving anything!  This has to change.  Kesennuma isn’t the only town either! Many reports from other shelters and devastation areas are coming back saying the same thing, WE NEED FRUIT!  The Fruit Tree Project will be as successful as funds allow! So please spread the word, and let’s start making moves!

フルーツツリープロジェクト(The Fruit Tree Project)

発案:ポール ユー

日本語著:石川 南







りんご1箱(約70個)=約4,000円 合計16箱=64,000円

バナナ1箱(約60本)=約2,500円 合計18箱=45,000円

オレンジ1袋(約5個)=約300円 合計220袋=66,000円








Hello, my name is Paul Yoo and I am a current JET in Yurihonjo, Akita.  In wake of the recent disaster, we, in Akita, have actively been involved in the relief efforts and are doing our best to contribute in this time of need.  The Fruit Tree Project spawned from our trip down to Kesennuma last week to drop off supplies.  While at the shelter we had the opportunity to talk about what their needs were, and FRESH FRUIT was their unanimous answer.  After leaving the shelter we contacted a local store manager who agreed to help us in our efforts, and offered to make orders for us from his wholesale fruit provider (located in Kesennuma!!!).  He assured us that all of our orders could be accommodated for as long as we placed them the day before.  The details for this plan are SET.  The only thing we need now is funding.  It is heart-breaking to know that the people aren’t able to get what they need, especially with a source so close to them.  We have to change this.  Right now, the shelter we are in contact with, accommodates 1100 people and receives prepared meals from the Japanese military.  They get a bowl of rice and miso soup.  For this first project, our goal is to establish the infrastructure it takes to get fresh fruits into the shelters, while also raising awareness of this issue.  Our hope is that others, who are looking to make a difference, will continue the Fruit Tree Project in other cities and towns effected by the disaster.

Timeline/Goals:  We want to take advantage of Golden Week and head down to Kesennuma for 10 days (April 29th – May 8th) making multiple deliveries per day.  Our goal for this mission is to first and foremost get fruits into the shelters.  Second, is to raise awareness of this issue so others can follow our lead and continue the Fruit Tree Project throughout the devastated areas.

Projected Costs:  Please note, although we are getting wholesale prices, the projected costs are based upon averages (fruit prices fluctuate daily)

~70 apples/box = ~4000yen
1,100 people/70 apples = ~16 boxes = 64,000yen (per day)

~60 bananas/box = ~2,500yen
1,100 people/60 bananas = ~18 boxes = 45,000yen (per day)

~5 oranges/pack = 300yen
1,100 people/5 oranges = 220 packs = 66,000yen (per day)

The goal is to supply each person in the shelter with 2 fruits per day for 10 days (ex:) one apple and one banana (for each person) = 109,000yen/day x 10days = 1,090,000yen

What we need:  The only thing holding us back right now is funding.  The fruit supplier is set, as well as transportation/gasoline/delivery logistics.

How you can donate:  People in Japan can donate through bank transfers (furikomi), a bank account has been set up specifically for this initiative.  ALL donated funds will go towards purchasing fruit for this project.  Those outside of Japan can donate online (US tax deductible) thanks to Second Harvest Japan.  Please refer to the website ( under the “Donate” section for detailed instructions on donating.

Summary:  This project is important to me as a JET because THIS is our community!  Once we settle into our new jobs and towns here in Japan, we become part of the community, and right now Japan has come together as one community.  And this includes us!  We realize it will take a significant amount of money to make this project happen, but when you break it down, a 1000 yen donation could provide 1 person with 2 fruits daily, for 10 consecutive days.  Every little bit counts, and we will guarantee that all funds donated to this project will DIRECTLY benefit the people in need.

– Paul and Minami


6 Comments on “The Fruit Tree Project Kesennuma, Miyagi”

  1. Margot says:

    Amazing Paul! I will share this with as many people as possible and make a note on my website. Thank you so much for all that you do!

  2. spicemoose28 says:

    This is amazing! I am so proud of you guys! Please keep us all posted on how it goes!

  3. Great work yer doing Paul. My daughter, Lindsay, knows you and urged us to donate to your effort. A donation will be forthcoming. We’re doing our part here too. Got about a dozen benefit concerts being organized in Toronto all aimed at helping the survivors. Linds and I are helping one – Concert for Japan. Also helping another bigger one where artists from Japan are coming to help in our efforts.

  4. Nell says:

    Keen to know how the fundraising is going. Are you getting close to goal for fruit tree?

    • Hey Nell! The fundraising is going pretty well! Everyday is full of possibilities, so although we are still a long ways away from our goal of over 1,000,000yen, we are still staying positive in hopes that it will happen 😉 Right now with all of the donations we have received locally and online, I think we are about at 400,000yen. Its been overwhelming the support we have received from all over the world! Thanks for checking in Nell!

  5. Nell says:

    I have also put out the call to my friends all over the world as your particular project has really touched me.
    If you see donations coming in with a line in the comment section “in memory of the Onodera family of Kesennuma” then its someone I reached out to. Now that I told you that I hope that you see a lot of them. LOL
    Good luck with everything over Golden Week and bless you all for the efforts you are putting in to helping everyone there.

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