*UPDATE* August 17, 2011

We appreciate everyone’s e-mails regarding volunteering in Tohoku.  As of late, many areas and volunteer centers are slowing down.  This DOES NOT mean they no longer need volunteers, but from here on out, if you are interested in manual labor volunteering in Tohoku, we urge you to please contact the Volunteer Centers and go from there.

Kessenuma Volunteer Center can be found here.

Ishinomaki Volunteer Center can be found here.

As for volunteering with us (volunteerAKITA), we will make sure to post ALL opportunities on our website.

Thanks so much everyone!



What is the BIG CLEAN?

volunteerAKITA’s the BIG CLEAN initiative is a concentrated effort to get people down to the disaster affected areas and volunteer their time helping the disaster victims rebuild.

Here you will find details about the cities we have contacts in and have been volunteering at.  We have met so many wonderful and amazing people while volunteering, it’s a great way to get involved in disaster relief if you have some free time.

the BIG CLEAN – Kesennuma

Project Co-ordinators – Todd Horner, Michiko Suzuki

Kesennuma is located in Miyagi prefecture close to the border of Iwate prefecture.  It was the location of Paul and Minami’s first delivery of donated goods and the birthplace of The Fruit Tree Project!  Kesennuma has set up a very organized volunteer center, where people can show up in the morning and get right to volunteering.  There is a booth set up to register first time volunteers for insurance, and a wealth of supplies if you are missing any protective gear.

Large groups of volunteers will be organized by Todd and Michiko through emails so if you’d like to hear about those, please get in touch with them, but if you just have some free time, don’t be afraid to go down yourself or in smaller groups.

Where:  Kesennuma Volunteer Center, 2丁目-2-3 東新城, Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture google maps link

What time: The volunteer center asks that you show up by 9 am so that you can go through any necessary paper work.

What you need:

  • Clothes you don’t mind getting dirty
  • Rubber boots or wellingtons
  • Thick rubber gloves, you want to avoid cloth
  • Face mask
  • Drinking water, there might not be running water where you are volunteering
  • Lunch
  • Clean clothes for the ride home

Work days start from 10 am and end at 3 pm with breaks and an hour for lunch.  Shuttles are used to ferry the volunteers to and from their volunteer site.