I am the kind of person who gets really moved when terrible things happen to people. If I wasn't a music teacher, I am pretty convinced that I might be working for a humanitarian relief agency somewhere. But I am a music teacher and so in the wake of this crisis in Japan I have been struggling to figure out what the answer to the question "what can we do to help?" is. So at my concert, one of my band parents and friends', Robin, suggested that we have donations jars and we can make a donation to the Red Cross. Done.
But I wanted something more. Something that my students, if they choose to, could get involved in. Because, like me, I think many of my students are seeking a way, beyond just posting on facebook that they are troubled by what has happened and want to do something to help.
My friend Nancy Moser (via someone else via someone else) on facebook posted about "Socks for Japan" http://jasonkelly.com/helpjapan/
Its pretty simple and I read the website, the facebook, the nay-sayers comments etc. I'm doing it. Why? Because socks are cheap & thrifty and oddly enough yesterday I had my own personal mishap with socks yesterday that WAS IN NO WAY COMPARABLE TO WHAT IS GOING ON IN JAPAN BUT MADE ME REALLY THINK ABOUT HOW SIMPLE SOCKS ARE AND HOW IMPORTANT THEY CAN BE TO SOMEONE!
Everything happens for a reason. So I took my large jazz band program to the Santa Cruz Jazz Festival and it poured. I was dressed in my cute dress and heels and it poured down rain while we were inside as the storm had finally hit us. I went out to the bus and in the walk my feet got soaked. I went in and grabbed my change of clothes, went in the bathroom to change and found that I had everything I needed but socks. We were stuck there for several more hours and our bus did not have heat. And I had no socks. I was frustrated and freezing and I do not live through an Earthquake, loose everything, it was not snowing (like it is in many parts of Japan right now) and I had more pairs at home to look forward to (and I have a home).
So when I got home and saw Nancy's post it resonated with me. This is something simple and easy that we can do to help. Better yet, Jason, who is coordinating this whole thing, suggests and provides resources for writing a care letter to include in the socks.
So here's what we will be doing in my band room. Collecting socks. We will be putting the sock sets in plastic bag to ease their sorting upon arriving in Japan. In zip lock plastic bag of socks we will be including a care letter. If you do donate you can send your own (please follow Jason's instructions on his website) or my student aides (and student volunteers) will do so for you. We will leave our contact information in the letter as the Santa Teresa Band Program/Santa Teresa HS Community.
A simple & thrifty way to help! Socks for Japan :)