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SD College Students Use Creative Tactics To Help Japan

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Aired 3/28/11

San Diego college students are taking a break from their studies to raise money for the people of Japan. They’re using creative methods to get donations.

— San Diego college students are taking a break from their studies to raise money for the people of Japan. They’re using creative methods to get donations.

UC San Diego students walk through the La Jolla campus seeking donations for Help Japan, a student-led coalition to help victims of Japan's earthquake and tsunami.
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Above: UC San Diego students walk through the La Jolla campus seeking donations for Help Japan, a student-led coalition to help victims of Japan's earthquake and tsunami.

Lance Henry is a freshman at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego.

Soon after the disaster in Japan, he was having dinner with his classmates when they got an idea: They would recruit volunteers and give them jars to ask for donations on the streets of downtown San Diego.

“The jars were named after cities in Japan,” said Henry. “Within two hours we were able to raise $1,355. So it went really well.”

In fact, one person who heard about the contest drove an hour into the city and handed over $100. All the money was given to the American Red Cross.

Meanwhile, Japanese American students at UC San Diego have formed a campaign called Help Japan. Their goal was to raise $10,000.

Students sold onigiri, or traditional Japanese rice balls, to collect cash. They also reached out to university departments for help.

So far students have exceeded their goal, raising close to $11,000.

They hope to collect even more donations this week during UCSD’s Matsuri festival, one of the largest Japanese festivals in the county.

UCSD student Yuta Morinaga said they’ll be making 1,000 paper cranes to send to the victims of Japan.

“It’s a Japanese tradition,” Morinaga said. “If someone was sick, you give them a batch of 1,000 cranes. It’s like saying to the people, ‘I hope you get better.’”

Yuta and many of his friends have family who live in Japan and have been affected by the earthquake.

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