Queen's University

Students skip a meal for Japan

[Lily Li and Tomo Nishizawa, organizers of Skip a Meal for Japan]Lily Li and Tomo Nishizawa, organizers of Skip a Meal for Japan.

More than 800 students participated in a fundraising initiative for the earthquake and tsunami relief efforts in Japan.

“I am very delighted by the amazing support shown by Queen’s students for the Skip a Meal for Japan initiative,” says Lily Li, a second-year commerce and art history student who had the idea for the fundraiser.

The student-led effort resulted in 834 students signing up to have a meal automatically deducted from their meal plan account. Queen’s Hospitality Services will donate a portion of the students’ meals to the Red Cross Society in Japan.

Tomo Nishizawa, a Japanese international student, helped publicize the initiative. She has been touched seeing the Queen’s community come to the aid of her homeland.

“The response has been really encouraging. We set up a booth in Leonard Hall and many of the students we talked to said they wouldn’t mind donating a meal,” she says.

Watching the media coverage of the recent disaster, Ms Nishizawa recalls the Kobe earthquake that she lived through in 1995. The painful memories inspired her to participate in the campus fundraising initiative.

“I remember vividly the evacuation centre where many people were wrapped in blankets and sprawled across a mat of newspapers in a cold gym. Each of us received a bottle of water and a rice ball a day. Thousands live in evacuation shelters still, and much more help is needed,” she says.

The Main Campus Residents’ Council (MCRC) also assisted in the fundraising effort.

“The resounding success of the initiative really demonstrates that Queen’s students are a passionate group that strives to help those in need, even if they’re on the other side of the globe,” says Lauren Long, MCRC sustainability coordinator.

Ms Nishizawa has started a blog to share the experiences of friends and family in Japan who have been impacted by the earthquake and disaster. There are also links on her site where people can go and donate to organizations that are delivering relief items to people in Japan.

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Last updated at 3:57 pm EDT, Fri August 22, 2014
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