Local business collects donations for Japan disaster relief

By Tara Morgan - bio | email | facebook

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - An outpouring of support right here in Richmond for the Japanese quake and tsunami survivors. The local Red Cross has received thousands in donations and now one toy store has stepped up to the plate to help those in need.

World of Mirth is collecting pocket change at the register. Right now, they're sitting on about $100 in donations for the Red Cross Richmond to send those hardest hit in Japan.

A little change, can go a long way. In this case, to those trying to overcome Japan's worst quake on record.

"We just wanted to bring a way that people who maybe didn't want to text and donate, or didn't want to send money some place else; they could just drop money off here," said Thea Brown with World of Mirth.

The collection bin was placed near the store's register one day after the disaster. Some toys and trinkets sold here come from Japan. Employees and customers wanted to do something.

"We actually had a little boy on Saturday who just donated 15 cents but you could tell he'd been saving his money for a while that 15 cents really meant a lot to him," said Brown.

For Brown, the disaster has hit close to home, she deals with a company that makes the tiny erasers that are popular with the kids. They have a factory in northern Japan. But at this point, Brown still can't reach them.

Bill Harrison with the Richmond Red Cross said the River City is known to be generous.

"Businesses like World of Mirth Richmond is filled with businesses like that; responsible corporate citizens who sincerely want to give back to the community," said Harrison.

On this day, Harrison said the chapter received about $12,000 for the relief effort, $10,000 from just one person.

"It helps us provide shelter, food, clothing, clean water," said Harrison.

"We have a duty to be able to help people in either our country or other countries. Just kind of know that there's people who care about them," said Brown.

If you'd like to find out how you can help, the local Red Cross is holding a public forum on Tuesday.

It's in conjunction with the Asian American Society Of Central Virginia. It's Tuesday from 2 to 3 p.m. at the Red Cross Center on East Cary street. You can also find out how local groups are responding to the disaster.

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