Kent State Trumbull raises money for 2011 Japanese tsunami and earthquake victims

Photo by Robb King.

Photo by Robb King.

Megan Wilkinson

Kent State Trumbull students, faculty and staff honored victims from the Japanese earthquake and tsunamis that hit the country on March 11, 2011 by putting together a fundraiser to aid Japanese orphans.

Kimi Itagaki-Lynch, graduate student at Kent State Trumbull, hosted the fundraiser from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday in the Kent State Trumbull Classroom and Administration Building. Itagaki-Lynch is from Japan, although she was in the U.S. when she heard about the disasters, she was moved by the personal stories of victims, whose number reached more than 19,000.

“Even though all of my family in Tokyo was fine, I felt like those victims were like my family and friends,” Itagaki-Lynch said. “I wanted to do something more than sending money to them.”

Itagaki-Lynch and her husband, Michael Lynch, associate professor of English at Kent State Trumbull, both traveled to Japan last summer, which made them interested in starting a fundraiser for the victims in Japan. Itagaki-Lynch and a team of about five to six volunteers sold Japanese items, such as scarves, handbags, tea cups and rice balls with miso soup to individuals who stopped by Thursday. She said she also showed a video to educate people on the natural disaster.

A little more than 100 students, faculty and staff stopped by the event. Joyce Amick, part-time faculty member at Trumbull campus, said this is the second year for the fundraiser. She said Itagaki-Lynch raised $410 through the event Thursday.

“I totally enjoyed it today,” Amick said. “Last year she made $400, but this time she made more. People kind of forget with time about tragedies, so we were pleased she made what she did today.”

Amick said fundraisers help bring the Kent State Trumbull community closer together.

“Most people go about their daily lives and not think about the orphans in Japan [because of the disaster],” Amick said. “I think fundraisers make everyone aware, and it draws us together.”

Contact Megan Wilkinson at [email protected]