“We have to wait a little bit longer for the spring to come this year” – I mumbled and came down to the kitchen. I am self-employed, so can afford the luxury of sitting in front of the TV in the morning, sipping the fresh coffee and flipping through the TV channels. That’s how it all started for me...
There was only one topic discussed on the news that day: the national disaster in Japan. During the first ten minutes since I had switched on the TV I had seen the horrible scenes of the giant tsunami waves covering the ground and wiping away entire villages. The scenes, that probably all of you saw as they were on all the channels across the globe. It felt like a bad dream, like the worst horror film ever, only it was real. There was an announcement about more then 300 people dead and other 10 000 disappeared. That was the news on Friday, March the 11th.
On Saturday March the 12th I switched on the TV in the morning just to hear that the situation in Japan is getting worse: the number of tsunami and earthquake victims has grown rapidly, people in the tsunami affected areas were not having enough food, drinking water and other essentials. Later that day I was on the phone with a good friend of mine, she is a musician and has been with her orchestra on a tour in Japan. She said that she has been in some areas affected by the tsunami and she could not believe that the beautiful cities and villages on the seaside were completely wiped away. I could hear her crying while saying it.
The next day, Sunday the 13th I decided not to watch the news in the morning as I was scared that something bad happened in Japan over night, but instead ended up flipping the news channels in search for fresh news from Japan and then browsing through the Internet looking for the same topic articles. I was absolutely distracted and could not stop thinking about what was happening in Japan. It was not the tsunami, but the radiation leak what scared me the most. Being born in the Soviet Union, the country that survived the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe, I was very well aware of the radiation danger. I personally knew the people who were involved in the liquidation process and those who lived in the radiation affected areas. Some of them have already died of cancer.
I decided to do something to help people in Japan. But I did not know how. I knew that from the first day of the Japan disaster other artisans started to make treasuries to showcase the Japanese shops, but for me it was not enough! I decided to sell some of my necklaces and donate the money to the Red Cross charity organization in Japan. I shared my ideas with my colleagues from the Russian Artist team mentioning that the other artisans on Etsy were already doing that. I proposed we get involved in the fund rising process as a team and start making treasuries for charity. I was surprised how popular my post was. Till the end of the day we were not doing anything but discussing how the fund rising process should be organized.
I was quite confident that our efforts can make a real difference. By the end of the day there were 10 of us who declare that they were ready to start fund raising for Japan by donating their items. We agreed that we:
- Change the titles and the descriptions on the items designated for the donation, mentioning the percentage of donation and the charity we will be donating to.
-tag the charity items “artist aid” “Japan relief” “Japan aid”
-start making treasuries for charity every day to increase our chances to sell products
-inform the customer who buy the items on where we donated the money they spent on our items by sending them the reference numbers of the charity transaction.
- notify the other Russian Artists team members about our sales and donations for charity.
Also we joined the Artist Aid group on Etsy where we found a lot like minded artisans already selling their art for charity and donating.
Story by Anastasia (Lovisetto)
Please stay tuned to know more about Russian Artists Etsy Team efforts to help people in Japan.