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The coronavirus pandemic may be continuing to restrict some activities of the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan (ACCJ), but we will still be ending the year with one of our most popular events!

This year’s ACCJ Charity Ball, entitled Welcome to Remote Paradise, will be brought into your homes on December 5. And while it may be virtual, we hope to get everyone involved in supporting our local community and designated charities.

Working with area restaurants and our amazing wine vendors, we’ve come up with some options for you to enjoy while viewing the event. We hope you will take advantage of these offerings and support the establishments who have supported us. Watch for more details about how to order food and drink in upcoming ACCJ communications.

You may also be aware that the wonderful musicians who have performed for us through the years have not been able to work for months. Bringing these extraordinary talents into your home for an evening of special performances not only delivers an exciting night to you but also gives them the chance to do what they love most: sharing their talents.

The ACCJ Community Service Advisory Council works closely with the Charity Ball Committee to identify the charities which we will support, and this year we have focused on those that have been there for the community during the pandemic. TELL, Second Harvest, the Sanyukai homeless shelter, and our long-established Mike Makino Fund for the Homeless, which supports the Franciscan Chapel Center and Tokyo Union Church rice programs, are all extremely worthy causes.

TELL has been on the front lines during this difficult period. In a recent conversation, TELL Lifeline Director Vickie Skorji said: “Since February, thanks to the fantastic support of the Lifeline volunteers, we have maintained 100 percent shift coverage by offering a combination of chat or remote phone support. Additionally, throughout this time, TELL has provided numerous resources and workshops to support schools, busi­nesses, and community groups in coping and building resilience.”

Second Harvest has had to adjust some of its programs to meet the needs of parents suddenly overwhelmed with food costs as their children learn remotely. The group has also supported homeless shelters with food and distribution when those centers were unable to gather the needed volunteers. Most recently, Second Harvest has been focusing on their project in Okinawa, Chief Executive Officer Charles McJilton explained.

“Okinawa was particularly hard hit because of its reliance on tourism. I saw shop after shop that was either closed or empty. The governor had been encouraging people to stay away from Okinawa because of concern over the spread of Covid-19. This made their economic situation more difficult, even though it was a wise choice given the alternative of having the medical system overloaded with patients.” They are facing huge challenges, particularly at this time, so our support for Second Harvest will go to the Okinawa project.

There are so many good reasons to support this year’s Charity Ball. This is our opportunity to come together and give back to the community in which we all live and work, helping businesses, artists, and charities that have been part of our lives. We look forward to seeing you all online!

Learn more about our charities and find out how to become a sponsor at:
Sponsorship deadline: November 20