Tomoko Kawamura 2014-11-12 00:06:30
Minokamo Lions Club, Japan Age 66 | Intellectual Property Manager March 11th, 2011, was a day we Japanese will never forget. The massive earthquake and tsunami that struck Eastern Japan robbed us of more than 20,000 precious lives. Though our club is located more than 500 kilometers away from the disaster area, we gathered donations and sent emergency supplies right away. I attended the Seattle International Convention about four months after the disaster. Right after the international parade ended, a Lion approached me. He was from Oregon. He told me, “I’m worried about Japan from the bottom of my heart,” and he handed me a small glass ball, small enough to sit in the palm of your hand. Inside the ball were pieces of rope and wood. The gentleman had collected pieces of rubble that had washed up on the beach and put them inside this glass ball. The rubble was pieces of scrap that had floated across the Pacific Ocean all the way from the disaster area to the U.S. He made and brought those glass balls with him to express his condolences to the Lions of Japan. It was enough to make me feel warm in the heart. “We Serve” are the two words that attracted me to join Lions. Those two words are the most important source of direction to guide my life. However, I believe that to really get the most out of the Lions motto you have to add “with gratefulness” to the end. Volunteer service with gratefulness is a source of unlimited happiness. Since becoming a Lion I have realized that the limitless happiness I feel from doing service pushes me to improve as a Lion and as a person.
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