Community Volunteer

Caring warm meal distribution services in disasters

Community volunteers in Saga prefecture make their local specialty dish “Dago soup.”

Community volunteers in Saga prefecture make their local specialty dish “Dago soup.”

The JRC community volunteer Corps has 2.16 million individual members in 2,208 groups nationwide. They usually work on community-based activities such as training for serving warm meals during disasters to evacuees or calling for donations on the street. At the time of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami (GEJET), many community volunteer groups in the region played an important and active role in emergency food distribution to the survivors..
“Warm meal services are also a form of psychosocial support to the affected people,” is now a common phrase among many community volunteer groups, as some try to improve and spice up their food menu by introducing their local cuisines.

“Harness the Power of Youth for Community Volunteer Activities.”
Towa kumagai, member of Hanamaki community volunteers group in Hanamaki City (Junior in Hanamaki Minami High School)

Miss Kumagai is calling for blood donation to pedestrians

Miss Kumagai is calling for blood donation to pedestrians

The first Red Cross volunteering work I did was after the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami (GEJET) in 2011, but I didn’t join the group until May last year and I thought it was more valuable for me to participate in various physical volunteer activities rather than being a donation collector.

Most of the members in our Volunteer group were elderly but they accepted me into the group in a good and family–like spirit.. One of my various group activities was working as support staff for the medical treatment of the injured when we were in charge of first aid for local events. I felt very pleased to have a chance to be useful to others. A school friend of mine joined our group after he experienced working in the JRCS street charity campaign for overseas aid last December called “Kaigai Tasukeai”.
We are living in an aging society, so it is natural for the young to support the elderly. Since the JRC community volunteers groups are needed in every local community, I do hope more and more young people will join us and work together with us.