RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Sunday marked the one year anniversary of Japan's earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis. The tsunami slammed into Japan's northeast coast after a 9.0 magnitude earthquake and killed or left missing nearly 20 thousand people.
More than 300 thousand people still live in temporary housing, and the government has yet to come up with a blueprint for rebuilding. The tsunami destroyed 90 percent of the region's fishing fleet, the mainstay of the local economy.
24-year-old Taylor Anderson was a Chesterfield teacher working in Japan. In the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami Anderson's family didn't give up hope in finding her alive. But her body was found near the U.S. embassy and one year later she is remembered and honored by her alma mater: Randolph Macon College.
Her parents say they've spent a year honoring her daughter through the Taylor Anderson Fund the fact that she can do, her memory can help us do a lot of good over there has been very satisfying," said Taylor's father Andy Anderson.
The fund raises money for reading programs, college aid, and orphaned children in japan.
"Helping other people makes us feel good," said Taylor's mother Jeanne Anderson.
"If you look at what she did over in Japan she made a lot of connections not just to her students of fellow friends but Japanese people so she really reached out and we're doing the same thing," said Andy.
Randolph Macon received a grant in honor of Taylor to strengthen Japanese studies. A film maker made a documentary highlighting the work Taylor did with the children of Japan. For Taylor's mother, these honors help mend her broken heart.
"Our hearts are closing up now and now and looking back it isn't as painful but we miss her everyday but it's getting better after a year," said Jeanne
Randolph Macon received a $100 thousand from the Japan Foundation Center. They'll receive more money in the next five years to help with student travel and course development.