*UPDATE* August 23, 2011 and a BIG THANK YOU to the AMAZING PEOPLE at JAPADOG!!!

JAPA DOG showin' some LOVE for Tohoku all the way from Canada!

While the summer months have been busy for us here in Akita, we have continued to get fruit out as much as possible, and are still collecting donations for The Fruit Tree Project!  A BIG BIG BIG THANK YOU to JAPA DOG for their very generous donation and support! If you live in the Vancouver area, please do us a favor and stop by your local JAPA DOG for some tasty gourmet hot dogs (YUM)! www.japadog.com

To date, we have raised ¥1,811,671 ($23,571) and delivered ~38,612items of fruit!  We also want to thank ALL of our supporters because none of this would be possible without your support and trust in our project and organization.  It really means the world to us, and with your support we have reached out and helped so many people in Tohoku.


– the volunteerAKITA crew


The volunteerAKITA Scholarship Fund

Hi my name is Paul Yoo, Co-founder of volunteerAKITA and The Fruit Tree Project (www.volunteerakita.org).  Along with our on-going activities, we are also involved in the “Smiles & Dreams:Tohoku Kids Project” led by Living Dreams/SmileKidsJapan (www.livingdreams.jp and www.smilekidsjapan.org). Right now, we are working as Home Communication Managers (HCMs) to two orphanages in the Sendai area.  Our role is to act as contacts for the orphanages, and relay any needs they may have.

What we need right now:  A boy, in his 3rd year of high school (his final year), at one of the orphanages we are in contact with, has become the first orphan there to ever express interest in going to college.  He wants to attend Yamaguchi Hukushi Bunka Daigaku (University of Human Welfare and Culture) and study hoiku ka (child care).  It is a four year program and the university will cover tuition for the first 2 years of the program, along with 50% of the 3rd and 4th years.  Our goal is to raise¥1,154,000 which includes ¥970,000 in tuition costs for the 3rd and 4th years, along with an ¥184,000 mandatory insurance cost over 4 years.

We are currently accepting donations for the scholarship fund we have set up.  After collecting the sufficient funds, we will then transfer the money to an account that will be handled by the orphanage.

We welcome any grants, scholarships, or personal donations to get this young man to college, and most importantly doing it without leaving him in debt after he finishes school, since in most cases, once an orphan has finished high school, he is on his own.

It is truly inspiring that he plans to go to college and is the first from his orphanage to show interest in doing so.  Successfully sending him to college would be such an amazing gift, and would inspire other orphans to follow in his footsteps, knowing that they too can receive a college education, and strive to become whatever they want to be in the future.

If you have any questions regarding this proposal or can help us out, please contact me.

Much Love,

Paul Yoo and Minami Ishikawa

*volunteerAKITA is NOW accepting online donations for our scholarship fund thanks to Andy Anderson and The Taylor Anderson Memorial Gift Fund! Just write in “volunteerAKITA Scholarship Fund” in the comments section of the giving page


The Fruit Tree Project – Ishinomaki, Day 19/20


Kat Shooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

July 23, 2011 – A big thanks to our awesome friend Kat down in Ishinomaki who has been helping us out HUGE and made a delivery to a smaller shelter near her apt.  Kat delivered 50 peaches and 74 bananas to a shelter located outside of central Ishinomaki that has not been getting as much relief help as other shelters.  We are glad to provide them with some fruit and appreciate Kat giving us a heads up on their situation out there.  We look forward to getting back there soon and hope to continue helping them out as much as we can.

July 30, 2011 – With the summer months being so busy here in Akita, we have been doing our best to keep fruit moving into the communities.  We are happy to be able to provide fruit for the LOVE KOGANEHAMA event which takes place every Saturday, and hope to continue supporting and providing fruit for them on a regular basis.  This weekend, we supplied them with 962 bananas and 665 oranges.  The event provides food and other relief supplies to about 300 people, and we definitely look forward to working with them in the future.