CAMP ZAMA, Japan – Members of the Logistics Readiness Center-Honshu recently helped spread holiday joy to a local Japanese children’s home with gift donations.
“We wanted to show our support for the community,” said Tim Guck, a logistics management specialist who helped organize the event. “And with this being the Christmas season, we wanted to bring a little Christmas cheer to some children.”
Guck and other teammates visited the Seikou Gakuen children’s home on Friday to deliver the gifts, which included video games, Blu-ray players/recorders, school supplies and sports equipment, as well as candy and cookies for nearly 50 children.
The Camp Zama community has supported the children’s home, which houses youth aged from 6 to 18 years old, for about two decades. Zama Middle High School had also previously invited children from the home to Camp Zama for holiday parties.
Guck said it was the first time that LRC-Honshu joined the Zama community to support the ongoing effort. And for him, the only thing he said he wanted in return was to see the smiles on the children’s faces.
“Everybody in the LRC just wants to give a little something back for the kids,” he said, and “to show that there are people out there that actually do care [about them].”
Mina Watanabe, a training officer, served as an interpreter between LRC-Honshu staff and the home to coordinate this year’s event.
While Christmas is not considered a holiday in Japan, she said it’s still widely popular among children.
“Every child knows of Christmas,” she said, “and every child hopes that Santa Claus [will bring them a gift].
“I was happy to see that people were very interested in this event,” she added.
Once the gifts were purchased, a few of Santa’s helpers came to Guck’s office to wrap them.
Harumi Kobayashi, a program analyst, wrapped the last gift and later said she hoped the presents would brighten the children’s holiday season even more.
“We share everything like the sky, moon and the sun, everything,” she said. “We are all equal, so I just want them to [also] enjoy a Christmas moment.”
Kristen Bennett, a transportation assistant, also helped while wearing festive earrings and a reindeer antlers headband.
“I hope that they can feel the joy of Christmas,” she said of the children.
And that sense of joy had a deeper meaning for Bennett. While growing up, she said her family would also sometimes rely on donated items from organizations.
“So, to be in this moment to be able to pass that forward is a great feeling for me,” she said.