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OAJ: The Japanese Orphans You Helped: Where Are They Now?

By Rachel Belle

Listen to OAJ Update: The Kids Are Doing Great!


We got an update today from Gemini Sanford, the woman who inspired us to launch Operation Airlift Japan. If you don’t remember, Gemini is an Army wife who used to live in Everett, and is now stationed in Misawa, Japan. She went to the Bikou-En orphanage to throw a little Halloween party this past weekend and sent us this email about the kids:

Hello Don!

Went to the Bikou-En orphanage this weekend for Halloween, we did a cookout, gave out candy etc etc..

HOW AWESOME was it to see all of your donations in action? Everywhere I looked, I saw OAJ! Walking in, I saw new umbrellas, I saw so much of the the clothing, it was heartwarming. New jeans on all the teens, both male and female, little ones dressed to the nines. Unloading food in the kitchen, I saw a few older kids munching on gold fish crackers, throwing them up in the air and catching them in their mouths. Meeku, one of the older girls, was playing the Wii, with some of the older boys, laughing hysterically. While the guys were setting up the grill, I went into the little kids room, to help them get ready, many of them were carting around their obviously favorite new stuffed animals (lots of beanie babies) when it came time to do their hair, each girl was so excited, and picked some type of ribbon or barette to put in their hair. I painted nails and applied lipgloss.

It was a beautiful fall day, and the boys had a ball game. Unlike previous visits where all the boys took turns with the three gloves, EVERY BOY HAD THEIR OWN GLOVE! And real baseballs, and bats! After we played, each boy oiled their glove and put it away, you could tell they were treasured, some put theirs under their beds, some had special bags. One boy even said a little chant over his, when I asked he said “for good Luck” The entire orphanage are now Seattle fans, with Mariner and Seahawk gear everywhere, and kids shouting “Touchdown Seahawkers”

The quilt was hanging in their multi purpose room. And there were pics of the Mariner Moose EVERYWHERE!

They asked repeatedly about “Ron and Rachel and Don” and were worried about Rachel, as they thought that she was dating Michael Jackson.

It was a great visit, I had to share, and thank you all again, for bringing such joy to all of these kids….

We will be visiting again soon and setting up an “Angel Tree” for Christmas, if anyone would like to participate, let me know.

Thanks again, for making Japan a better place for children,


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