This is Paul from volunteerAKITA and The Fruit Tree Project.  I am writing this on behalf of our crew to say THANK YOU for all of your donations and overwhelming support.  It was truly amazing to receive so much love and support from all over the world!  Without all of you, none of this could have been possible.  It is strange to think that it has already been 9 months since the disaster occurred here in Japan.  In some regards, it still feels like it happened yesterday.  The important thing to remember is that the recovery process is far from over, there is still so much work to be done up here in Tohoku.  We ask that you continue to keep Japan in your thoughts and continue to support in any way you can.

As for volunteerAKITA, we brought The Fruit Tree Project to a close in November and are pleased to say we raised a total of ¥1,846,504 (~$23,740) and spent it all on fruit for the people displaced by the tsunami.  We thank you again for ALL your support and faith in our project.  We are proud to say that EVERY yen donated went towards purchasing fruit and nothing but fruit.  All overhead expenses and labor came from us and our amazing group of volunteers.  Please feel free to check out our expense reports posted on our website, and please contact us if there are any questions or concerns.

Moving forward, we are currently involved in the “Smiles & Dreams” project lead by Living Dreams and Smile Kids Japan (www.livingdreams.jp and www.smilekidsjapan.org).  These organizations have been doing amazing things for orphanages throughout Japan, and we are very happy to be working along side of them.  Right now, our “Smiles & Dreams” project is to raise funds for a volunteerAKITA scholarship that will send one of the orphans to university.  He is currently in his last year of high school and is the first orphan at his orphanage to express interest in attending university to study child care.  We feel that it is very important to provide this inspiring young man with this opportunity, and hope he will encourage other orphans to also pursue further education.  For more information please read the proposal above or feel free to contact us

Thank you all so much, and we wish you the best during this holiday season!
Much love,

The volunteerAKITA crew