The Smith Family Joins Harvard to Provide 1,000 Blankets for Japan’s Earthquake/ Tsunami Survivors
HONG KONG, May 26, 2011 – The Will and Jada Smith Family Foundation joins Harvard University in donating over 1,000 new wool blankets to the victims of the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami in Japan on March 11, 2011. The arrival of the blankets was announced by the Director of Health and Welfare in Ibaraki Prefectural Government at a site where they are being distributed to families in need. The blankets were transported compliments of FedEx from the manufacturer in the US to Tokyo.
“From the moment we learned of the tragic earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the students and faculty of the Harvard Foundation wished to assist the survivors in some meaningful way,” said Dr. S. Allen Counter, Director of the Harvard Foundation and Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School. “I immediately turned to the Smith family, who are known for their compassion and generosity toward victims of natural disasters. In 2010, the Smith Family Foundation provided over 100 tents to house victims of the tragic earthquake in Haiti. We are thankful to the Smith family for their act of heartfelt kindness and generosity toward our friends in Japan. Some years ago, I worked on a biomedical project in an earthquake devastated area in the Andes Mountains, and I learned from this experience that one of the first relief items requested by the survivors, especially children, was a blanket to keep warm.” The blankets were transported to the earthquake/tsunami-affected areas in Ibaraki Prefectural Autonomy Japan by Harvard associate Hiromi Ikezawa and Japanese officials, who distributed them to families in need.
“We are privileged to be able to use our logistical expertise to support the delivery of these wool blankets. We hope that through this small act, we are able to bring some relief to these victims,” said David L. Cunningham, Jr., president, FedEx Express Asia Pacific.
In support of this initiative, the Will and Jada Smith Family Foundation donated funds to the Harvard Foundation to purchase the blankets on behalf of their children, Trey, Jaden, and Willow, “to enable the students and faculty of the Harvard Foundation to purchase needed relief items for survivors of the tragic earthquake and tsunami in Japan.”
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