three years later. this day still gets to me.

the feelings i felt and the overwhelming sadness balanced with the overwhelming of happiness of what we did together for Japan after will never ever leave me.  to this day, i will still excitedly talk about what we accomplished altogether.  and i’m still in disbelief at times at how in two and a half weeks we surpassed any of our expectations.

you kind of never forget natural disasters of this magnitude where the damage is eternal and physically scarring not just  for the people, but for the land and the culture forever.  we’ve all seen the images and the video footage before.  but the horrifying feeling of seeing that 30 foot wave knock entire ships into shore and in a matter of few seconds, pull thousands of lives into the massive ocean.  it just never leaves you.

i am thankful for community as i spoke about in this post.  thankful to have friends like Lucia and Henny from Utterly Engaged who immediately jumped to action with me and started For Japan With Love.  despite the melancholy of the event, i still have to giggle at how doubtful we were to raise $5,500.  in fact, we were so doubtful, we almost made our initial goal $3,500.

every year, i will write these number out again and again. it’s the only way to emphasize that every little helps.  but in just two and a half weeks, we raised $66,733 from 1407 individual donations and we had 1200+ bloggers involved with the blogger day of silence.  we owe it to the power of social media but more importantly, the power of community.  we would never have been able to pull it off without your help.  this further triggered a SF benefit a month later and with the help of Floral TheoryBlu BungalowLovely Little Details and Bustle Events, our end total for For Japan With Love, was approximately $74,000.

one of the reasons that also helped this community raise that amount was having a great organization to donate to and believe in.  we picked ShelterBox because of what they do.  each ShelterBox contains the daily living essentials from utensils to blankets and pillows to coloring books for kids to a tent that houses about 10 people or an entire family.  each box is about $1,000 and so by raising $74,000, we were able to help 74 families or about 740 people.

takes your breath away doesn’t it?

however, at the end of the day, this post isn’t meant for gloating.  it’s to showcase just how beautiful human beings can be.  that a horrifying tragedy like the Japan earthquake and tsunami can bring so much kindness and compassion.

my heart still aches for the losses that day and the days after.  i will always remember this day and think of all those affected closely to my heart.  and i will always be ever so thankful for everyone that donated and helped spread the word.  there will never be any words close to describing how i felt or still feel about For Japan With Love.

take a moment today and join me to remember those lives lost and those affected by the earthquake and tsunami.

in remembrance. 3.11.11.