Scientology Volunteer Ministers in Earthquake-ravaged Kesennuma Deliver Food to Remote Areas—On Bicycle
April 9, 2011
With roads impassable and relief services stretched to the limits, delivering food and supplies to ill, injured and elderly residents in outlying rural areas around Kesennuma remained a critical but unsolved dilemma for government and civilian relief forces.
The Volunteer Minister disaster relief team, who has operated a shelter in Hashikami Junior High School in Kesennuma for the past month, took on the challenge, proving once again their motto—“Something Can Be Done About It”—isn’t just words.
“Our motto is a call to action,” says the lead Volunteer Minister in Kesennuma.
In an email to their network of five teams in the decimated areas, Volunteer Ministers described the difficulties delivering food and supplies to the rural areas over impassible roads. A solution was almost immediately forthcoming: bicycles.
Fast action turned this from a bright idea into a visit to a large local bicycle store that readily donated 32 bicycles, helmets and bags.
Students of Hashikami Junior High School, site of the shelter staffed by Volunteer Ministers, eagerly signed up to ride the delivery bikes and worked with VMs to affix a sign to each bike basket, with their school’s logo and the “Something Can Be Done About It” motto.
Kesennuma City Council member Mr. Moriya came to officially launch the students on their mission to deliver donated food and water to the isolated victims of the quake and tsunami. At the send-off event, covered by Sanriku Shimpo newspaper and a local TV station, the council member said he usually declines offers from volunteer organizations, but he has seen the Volunteer Ministers provide effective assistance that is unique and therefore welcome. He also commented that he had not seen so many smiles on the faces of the junior high school students since the tsunami, and he thanked the Volunteer Ministers and the students and urged them to continue their work in the area.
Update: On 11 April 2011 Higashi TV aired a segment of the Japanese presentation ceremony of 32 donated bicycles: