In tribute to Japan and those affected by the recent disaster, this week's Wallpaper Wednesday is in honor of them. We hope these images of Kazuhiro Kokubo, Tim Humphreys, Johnny Paxson, and Jeremy Thompson will inspire you. Take some time out of your day to think about and appreciate your surroundings and reflect on what our friends in Japan are experiencing. Be thankful for things like clean water, a roof over your head, and snowboarding with your friends.
Do what you can to help support Japan and one another…even if it's just passing the word and letting someone know you care. Awareness is everything. To Japan.
When we asked Kazuhiro how the disaster affected him during the US Open, Kazu replied, “During contests, I try to only think of my run. But this time I prayed for Japan. This run and victory lap was for all of Japan.”
He also, added, "We are lucky to do what we do and sometimes forget how good the life as snowboarder is. No matter how bad snow, or jump or pipe or whatever, it is never bad as what some people in Japan and other places of the world are feeling now. Give thanks for everything you have. It can be here today but maybe gone tomorrow."
We also checked in with our previous Senior Photographer Dice K Maru as he and his family moved back to Japan this season. Dice K explained, “I left Japan a week before the earthquake and headed to Whistler. When I found out about the earthquake on TV, I tried to call my wife but the phone lines were all messed up in Japan. A couple of hours later I was able to reach her and she explained to me what happened. She got out house and ran to our daughter’s school to pick her up. Her school is right in front of our house. The house we moved to is only 5 minutes from beach and it really made me worried. Luckily our beach is facing South, so the tsunami didn’t really affect it. They were still evacuated to the school after they came back home and now they are back to house again. Multiple places are still having earthquakes continuously too. There is another concern about the explosion of nuclear power stations. A village (17,600 population) was washed out and only 8,000 people have been found alive. 440,000 people became evacuees. A couple of towns were completely destroyed so the government can not accurately count how many people are missing. At least 5800 houses are disappeared. Houses in Japan are built with earthquakes in mind but the level was way too big. So many towns were also educated for tsunami but the size was, again, way too big.”
Our affliates, TransWorld SNOWboarding Japan are doing fine. TWJ Editor Takashi Sukegawa responded, “Our Editorial staff is safe. My family is safe. We fightback against earthquake. We never give up. Thanks for your Operation Tomodachi (Tomodachi means friends by english). We are friends.”
Suke shared this photo gallery link posted on Flicker. It’ll give you a true insight to the scene over there:
Donating money is one of the easiest ways to help out, and even a little donation goes a long way.
Here are five organizations that you can donate to:
1. The American Red Cross: Red Cross officials say donors can text REDCROSS to 90999 and a $10 donation will automatically be charged to donor's phone bill, or donations can be made directly on its Web site.
2. Waves 4 Water: Jon Rose is working on a plan for ground relief efforts coordinated with the Japanese military and anyone with boats, helicopters, or the means to reach stranded people. Help them gather the resources by donating.
3. Global Giving/International Medical Corps: Global Giving is working with International Medical Corps, Save the Children, and other organizations on the ground to disburse funds to organizations providing relief and emergency services to victims of the earthquake and tsunami. Donors can text JAPAN to 50555 to give $10, and larger increments can be submitted on Global Giving's Web site.
4. Doctors Without Borders: They don't have donations set up specifically for Japanese relief funds, but they have sent large numbers of medical teams to the area and donating will surely help continue their efforts.
5. The Salvation Army: The Salvation Army has been providing food and shelter to Tokyo commuters who were stranded when public transportation was interrupted by the earthquake. They are to send a team to Sendai, a city about 250 miles Tokyo, to assess the situation there. Text JAPAN or QUAKE to 80888 to make a $10 donation. (Make sure to respond "YES" to the Thank You message you receive.) Donations can also be made on the organization's Web site or by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY.