NEW YORK– Japanese transfer student Sara Nozaki (’15) is using her overseas connections to help TKC’s Global Generation club host an art auction for charity at Redeemer Presbyterian Church Mar. 9.
The event, Hope in the Rubble, will raise money, support and awareness for the destruction still widespread in Japan after last March’s series of earthquakes, tsunamis and after-shocks. Christian Relief Assistance Support and Hope (CRASH) Japan and Ouchi Studios, an art gallery in Brooklyn, are partnering with Global Generation to hold the auction.
“I was there during the earthquake, and I’m still restless,” Nozaki said.
When Nozaki was forced to evacuate from work, she thought she was going to die.
“I saw people driving cars and the water engulfing them,” she said. “I saw them running and then never again.”
CRASH Japan is a non-profit organization focused on disaster relief. Its headquarters are located in a Christian Academy in Japan, where Nozaki attended school before moving to NYC.
Nozaki is familiar with many of the workers from CRASH, some of whom are her old schoolmates’ parents.
After the earthquakes, Nozaki worked with Samaritan’s Purse, who focused on restructuring and clearing the land. Last summer, Nozaki worked on farmlands to renew the dirt and soil. Everyday, she would dig through a layer of salt, a layer of crude oil and a layer of debris to make sure the soil was clean enough for farming.
The families Nozaki worked with told her about how they survived. “They would cry the whole time,” she said. “They would work with us and cry with us. But they were so thankful that people were helping them.”
Hope in the Rubble is Nozaki’s chance to continue supporting the relief efforts while in America.
“I really wanted a charity event,” Nozaki explained. “I’m trying to do everything I can. My home is in Japan, and even though I’m here [in NYC], I still need to do something.”
Nozaki joined Global Generation last semester.
According to Global Generation President John Bianchi, the student organization exists “to help bring people and organizations together in order to meet needs in NYC, while promoting efficiency and action.”
Hope in the Rubble is an opportunity for Global Generation to exercise these values.
“We hope to raise a significant amount of charity money to help those still reeling from the devastation of the Tsunami,” Bianchi said.
Member Chris Josselyn said Global Generation is excited to be a part of the effort. “There are a lot of hurting people out of there that really need help and support,” Josselyn said.
“The opportunity to reach out to Japan all the way from here in New York is encouraging. I know the charity we receive will do a great service of relief to those in need,” member Laurel Recsetar added.
The idea of the auction was inspired by Nozaki’s friend, Naomi Hirano, who is an intern at Ouchi Studios.
Hirano says she wanted to help with the event because “it is a great cause to be involved in.”
Like Nozaki, Hirano saw the Japanese people’s suffering firsthand.
“To know that I can do something about it is exciting,” Hirano said. “I am actually doing something for my country.”
The Mar. 9 event is auctioning Ouchi gallery’s donated artwork and will feature short presentations by CRASH, Ouchi and Nozaki herself.