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Monday, March 21, 2011

The Human Connection: Reflecting on Events in Japan

Today's post reflects on the devastating earthquake and tsunami that has affected Japan. Aside from the emotional impact that communities are enduring, the unprecedented damage of the natural disasters that took place on March 11th have disrupted normal life all over Japan by upsetting daily routines, causing power outages and transportation issues, and by forcing individuals to conserve energy and food. As we continue to see on television and read in the news, the effects of these natural disasters continue to unfold, causing ripple effects in other parts of the world.

For us at The Tea Plant, the events that have occurred in Japan have made us think about the fragility of human life and how ironically strong people can be in the midst of what seems to be a disaster of proportions too large to articulate. As we consider this, one particular question keeps coming to mind: Could anyone survive such an event if not for the human connection?

Like many with friends in Japan or those who know Americans with family there, the first thing we did when we heard about the earthquake was reach out to to be sure everyone was alright. We are thankful that distant relatives and our tea friends in Japan are safe. As we continue to think about the many people who have been displaced from their homes, separated from their families and witness to the destruction of their communities, however, we wish that there was more that we could do to help.

On a personal level, we made several donations to various groups in hopes that the money will be used well. The Tea Plant, however, will be providing further information in the coming weeks about ways that we will be donating to help those in need as a company. While we are very small, we have several ideas in mind.

In the meantime, we have provided some links below to organizations that are collecting funds to support recovery efforts. In addition to drinking a cup of Japanese green tea and sending good intentions to those who are dealing with hardship in Japan during these difficult times, please consider making a donation.

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