TTU group raises money for Japan relief - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

TTU group raises money for Japan relief

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) –  A Texas Tech Professor from Japan has inspired students and the campus to pitch in and help those in need who are suffering after last month's 9.0 earthquake and tsunami.

After the disaster, Hiro Umehara sent a few emails and now a group on campus is on its way to raising thousands of dollars.

"I have to start something," Umehara explained outside the Student Union Building on campus. He is thousands of miles away from his wife and family who live in Tokyo, Japan. He left Japan to teach Japanese at TTU and earn his master's degree in applied linguistics.

Feeling almost helpless at first, Umehara believed his campus community could make a difference. "I was so proud, so moved. They are not Japanese, they are just taking my class but realized that there is something more." 

Shortly after the quake hit, students got together and formed the group Texas Tech Japan Earthquake Relief Cause. The students sit outside for hours, in between their classes, asking for donations. Students and faculty have dropped everything from change to $100 bills in the two boxes designated for relief efforts. All the money will go to a non-profit organization on the ground in Japan that provides disaster relief.

"The first week we raised $5,000, so it is amazing that Texas Tech students are donating for a cause miles away," said Taylor Hardin, a Mass Communications student who has studied abroad in Japan. While Umehara isn't Hardin's professor, he is currently taking a Japanese language class. He and another student, Chris Stidman, are using their backgrounds in communications to help spread the word across campus and to the local community.

"It's hard to watch the videos from Japan, but we are doing something on the other end of the world to help," said Stidman.

Umehara's immediate family is okay. He says basic items like eggs, milk and gasoline are hard to come by. He has friends, though, that have lost everything.

"I'm just so thankful for people at Tech because they are so willing to help. They give us hope," Umehara said.

The group hopes to raise $10,000 for Civic Force, a Japanese non-profit.

Students will host a Japanese Awareness Day and a community garage sale to raise money. Event information will be posted to the group's Facebook page.

©2011 KCBD NewsChannel 11. All rights reserved.

  • Local News on KCBD.comNewsMore>>

  • Trump says more must be done to protect children

    Trump says more must be done to protect children

    Wednesday, February 21 2018 1:47 AM EST2018-02-21 06:47:03 GMT
    Wednesday, February 21 2018 2:39 AM EST2018-02-21 07:39:05 GMT

    On Wednesday, Trump will host a "listening session" that will include people impacted by mass shootings in Parkland, Columbine, Colorado and Newtown, Connecticut.

    On Wednesday, Trump will host a "listening session" that will include people impacted by mass shootings in Parkland, Columbine, Colorado and Newtown, Connecticut.

  • The Latest: Canadian takes gold in crash-filled skicross

    The Latest: Canadian takes gold in crash-filled skicross

    Tuesday, February 20 2018 8:12 PM EST2018-02-21 01:12:24 GMT
    Wednesday, February 21 2018 2:35 AM EST2018-02-21 07:35:27 GMT

    The Trump administration says Vice President Mike Pence was ready to meet with representatives from North Korea during his visit to the Olympic Games in South Korea but that North Korea canceled at the last minute.

    The Trump administration says Vice President Mike Pence was ready to meet with representatives from North Korea during his visit to the Olympic Games in South Korea but that North Korea canceled at the last minute.

  • Asian shares gain on rosy Japan data, bucking Wall St losses

    Asian shares gain on rosy Japan data, bucking Wall St losses

    Tuesday, February 20 2018 10:22 AM EST2018-02-20 15:22:24 GMT
    Wednesday, February 21 2018 2:33 AM EST2018-02-21 07:33:54 GMT
    U.S. stocks are mostly lower in early trading as the market reopens after a long holiday weekend.
    U.S. stocks are mostly lower in early trading as the market reopens after a long holiday weekend.
Powered by Frankly