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IL: Midwestern University Students Raise Funds to Help Japan Recovery Efforts

June 02, 2011

by Office of Communications

Students on the Downers Grove Campus of Midwestern University organized a variety of fundraisers to help the people of Japan after the devastating March earthquake, tsunami, and the aftereffects of the disaster.

Through an event at a local Downers Grove restaurant, a class competition, and a pasta lunch, Midwestern University students raised more than $2,600 for the Peace Winds - America/Japan organization, to be used for earthquake relief in Japan. Also, several student organizations raised an additional $500 for a donation to the American Red Cross for Japan Earthquake Relief.

"Though it may not be an enormous donation, we felt that every little bit can go a long way when tragedy strikes. Our only real goal was to raise awareness of the tragic events in Japan and inspire our fellow students to think about the impact that we can have on the lives of people across the globe. I believe that we met our goal," said Ryan Szaniawski, a third-year pharmacy student at the University who helped organize one of the fund-raisers.

At least one Midwestern University student had a very personal connection to the tragedy. "I grew up in Japan and came to Chicago for college. Japan is home to me and with my entire family and a lot of my friends still living there, it was a really scary experience for me to witness it all on TV," said Yui Sugiura, a second-year student studying Biomedical Science. "I had just missed the earthquake by a matter of hours as I had boarded the direct flight from Tokyo to Chicago earlier that day. As soon as I got home, I turned the television on and that's when everything just hit me hard, to see what I call my home completely destroyed within a matter of minutes and to see how unavoidable the natural disaster had been."

Ms. Sugiura spearheaded the effort to raise funds for the Peace Winds - America/Japan organization. "Hearing my family and friends talk about the tremors that continued, the lack of essentials at the grocery stores, and the inaccessibility that they were facing with a lot of the public transportation still not working, really energized my fervor to want to be able to do something to help out in any small way possible," Ms. Sugiura added. "They all needed the most basic things. I knew that even if I only raised a small amount, it would be going towards something and moreover, I'd be doing something from across the ocean to hopefully make a small difference back in Japan."

These efforts to help the people of Japan are just a few examples of the good work being done by Midwestern University students to help those in need.

More Information

For more information, please contact:
Office of Communications
630/515-7333 (IL) or 623/572-3353 (AZ)