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Guam rallies to help our Japanese neighbors

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by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - There are several ways you can help the victims of the disaster in Japan. First, the Government of Guam is organizing a relief drive as Governor Eddie Calvo will lead the efforts, and has appointed four co-chairpersons representing all sectors of public service: Speaker Judi Won Pat, Chief Justice F. Philip Carbullido, Mayor Melissa Savares, and First Lady Christine Calvo.

The government-wide committee will coordinate efforts among the various sectors of the community, including businesses, schools and other public agencies, the University of Guam and the Guam Community College to assist the people of Japan who were devastated by this catastrophe. The First Lady's office will accept donations, and will send it over to the local chapter of the American Red Cross.  

Checks can be made payable to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.  In order for these donations to directly benefit the Japanese people, all memo lines on checks must include "Japan earthquake and pacific tsunami".

Also accepting donations is the Japan Club of Guam. Donations can be made by cash or personal checks (payable to the organization) at their office located on the 2nd floor of the ITC Building between 10am-7:30pm Monday through Friday. The Japan Club of Guam says it will be extremely difficult and expensive to ship donations overseas from the Guam to Japan and monetary donations are more efficient and offer greater flexibility for disaster relief organizations to purchase needed resources locally and for immediate distribution with the disaster area.

All donations will be handled by the Consulate-General of Japan at Hagatna.

The board of directors of the United Chinese Association of Guam is also accepting donations for one week and will forward all collections to the local consul general office by next Tuesday. Donations will be accepted at the office of the Association, located on the 2nd floor of the Guam Chinese School Building or can be picked-up by calling 788-1889. You're asked to make your payment to the United Chinese Association of Guam, noting that it's for Japan Earthquake Relief. They're hoping to raise $20,000.

As for the Filipino community of Guam this Saturday they are holding a fundraiser for the victims in Japan. The event will take place at Seaside Market in the Manhattan Building along Route 16.  Meanwhile, interested donors can also dropoff checks at SM at the Agana Shopping Center, and National Office Supply.

Also lending a hand MCV Broadband is offering reduced rates to Japan for current phone subscribers to help alleviate long distance charges while contacting friends and family affected by these tragedies. Starting today through April 30, MCV Broadband will offer a discounted rate of $0.02 per minute to all Japan land lines and $0.11 per minute to all Japan mobile phones.

Meanwhile, the Hilton Guam will be hosting a benefit concert this Sunday to raise funds for the tsunami victims. The concert will be held at the Hilton Park (right at the entrance of the resort), from 3pm-9pm. It will feature live local bands and a raffle. The entrance donation free is $15 a person. All proceeds from the event will be donated directly to the American Red Cross - Guam Chapter.

And finally, the KUAM CareForce is also doing our part in helping our neighbors in Japan. Next Tuesday, March 22, we'll present a special pledge night of programming on KUAM-TV8 and KUAM-TV11.  It kicks off at 6:30pm on TV8 with a special edition of KUAM News Extra. Throughout the evening we will collect your pledges for the American Red Cross to be used towards relief efforts in Japan.

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