Student club raises $1,400 for Japanese relief efforts

May 4, 2011 Community Print Print

The International Student Association raised $1,400 in the past six weeks for relief funds going to Japan, said Carol Pittman, an OCCC student from Japan.

Pittman is a nursing sophomore who will graduate this semester.

“I was very impressed with the students at OCCC,” she said. “I wish I had taken a photo of the Japan Tsunami Relief table. It would have been nice to share with the Japanese people and friends on Facebook.”

Pittman said communication with Japanese family and friends back home has been difficult, due to the extreme damage and chaos.

“I’ve been searching for my mother’s family, but have had no success so far,” she said. Her family lives near the earthquake zone.

March 11 marked the most violent and destructive earthquake in Japanese history. The quake registered an 8.9 on the Richter scale, according to

The earthquake triggered a tsunami, a giant wave, which hit the eastern side of the island minutes after the quake.

The earthquake and tsunami caused for more than 18,000 deaths, according to

“The best thing we can do is to let them know we are thinking of them and we are with them as they begin to rebuild their lives,” Pittman said.

One of Pittman’s friends, Japanese music producer Cozy Mikami, told Pittman he hopes the world does not forget about Japan.

“It’s hard to describe the fear I was in when the earthquake occurred,” Mikami said in an interchange over Facebook. “The floor shook for what I was told was about a minute, but it felt like 10. It was like nothing I have ever experienced.”

Students can continue to give to the relief fund through the International Student Association. Club officers can be contacted by visiting

“We are one world, one community,” Pittman said. “Reaching out and connecting with others is a part of our global community. It is not only healing but amazing.”

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