Michiko Owaki, representing the "Japanese Moms Group of Bloomington, Indiana," is spearheading an effort in Bloomington to assist victims of the earthquakes and tsunami in Japan. Her group is busy making beautiful, handmade origami peace crane earrings. Bloomingfoods is now offering the earrings in our West Side store, with all proceeds being donated to the Japan Earthquake Relief Fund. Bloomingfoods is delighted to participate in this project, and we loved Michiko's letter describing how it all came about.
"I am thrilled that our earrings have made it to one of my favorite stores in town, Bloomingfoods Near West Side. It seems to me that the fact that our crane earrings made it to Bloomingfoods Near West Side is a kind of inevitability, if not destiny, because the store is in a way the birthplace of these earrings: about a week after the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, I ran into a friend, Amy, who used to make and sell her own jewelry, at the Near West Side store. We started talking about the tragedy that hit Japan, and then it occurred to me to ask her if she could help me and other Japanese moms in town to make earrings with our origami (paper-craft) cranes. Amy was very willing to offer us any help she could, and soon I started organizing this charity handcraft project with my fellow Japanese mothers in Bloomington.
It struck me as another inevitable coincidence that when I went to see and ask you to sell the earrings in the Near West Side store, I ran into Amy again (!) - she must be a frequent customer there - and another bunch of people who had been helping me to develop my fundraising projects for this cause, including Susan Krieg, who has helped me to organize a charity classical music concert at St. Thomas Lutheran Church, the event in which we are also selling our crane earrings and other handcraft items.
What does this all mean? ... I think it is that Bloomingfoods Near West Side store is a place where you keep bumping into your good friends, thus we always have nice chats and smiles - and a place where cool things happen!
Thank you very much again for making it possible to sell our earrings without commission, we are really grateful to you about it.
Postscript: for more information:
Checks payable to: Japan Earthquake Relief Fund (by Japan-America Society of Indiana)
JASI's website: http://www.japanindiana.org/english/index.html
And this is the page on their website where you can find the information about the earthquake, the tsunami, and their relief fund