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Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2002


Clothing homeless volunteering and kids' art classes

Donating old clothes

Being the season of good cheer and giving rather than receiving, here are some ways to help those less fortunate than ourselves.

A reader in Tokyo wants to send good old clothes to a place where they will be useful. "I hate the idea of throwing them away," she says.

For guys, and warm winter wear, any old clothes would best find a home in those areas of Tokyo (also Yokohama and Osaka) where itinerant laborers and the homeless hang out. In the capital, send or deliver to the Sanya Workers Welfare Hall, at 1-25-11 Nihon-zutsumi, Taito-ku, Tokyo 111 0021.

For women's and children's clothing, contact the Salvation Army (rattling their tambourines in Japan since 1895), which will pick up garments in certain areas of the capital: Mitaka, Shinagawa, Nagatacho and Ikebukuro. Otherwise, direct or deliver to 2-21-2 Wada, Suginami ku, Tokyo 166-0012. Phone 03-3237-0881 (in Japanese), or check out the Sally Army's Web site: www.salvationarmy.or.jp/english/

Volunteer work

Anne's husband is coming to Tokyo in the new year for his company from the U.S. "I'm wondering about volunteer work. Any ideas how I can get started?"

Anne needs to contact Foreign Executive Women, a networking organization that stages educational and social events for professional women. FEW meets every second Thursday of the month. Phone: 090-7216-5171; E-mail few@gol.com; or check out their Web site: www.few.gol.com

The other good news is that, since 1995, FEW has been publishing a resource guide for expats seeking to utilize their expertise and talents in volunteer work. Called the Foreign Executive Women's Volunteering Directory, the 2002 edition lists some 80 organizations that welcome English-speaking volunteers.

She should send her name, address and all other contact numbers to FEW: SVAX Building 1F-A, Suite 161, 3-1-5 Toranomon, Minato-ku, Tokyo 1050001. (Phone, E-mail address and Web site as before.) Though asked to enclose 390 yen in postage stamps to cover mailing costs, FEW welcomes donations of 1000 yen to cover the directory's actual production costs.

Kids' art classes

One of the very first messages received early this summer when this column started was from a parent in Tokyo's Sendagaya Ward inquiring about reasonably centrally-based art classes for her offspring.

Back then, no. Now, yes. Specially designed children's art classes will be starting on Wednesdays in January in Minato-Ward's Azabu juban. So here's a fine Christmas gift for 2003: a large dollop of creativity, with two options.

One is the children's version of the Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain workshop, to develop drawing and perceptual skills. The limit will be 10 children per class, ages from 9-11 for first timers, or from age 8 for those who have had a previous RB class.

The class will be taught by Kristin Newton, a certified Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain teacher. The fee is 50,000 yen for 20 hours of instruction, materials included. The schedule for the time being is: Jan. 15, 22; Feb. 12, 26; March 12, 19; April 2, 16; and May 7, 21.

The other class will be Expressive Art for Kids, to develop creativity and means of expression using paint and other materials. The limit will be 10 children per class, ages from 6-12.

Teacher Eri Yoshida is a professional illustrator as well as a certified art therapy teacher. The fee is 40,000 yen for 18 hours of instruction, materials included. The schedule is: Jan. 29; Feb. 5, 19; March 5 (possibly a field trip to a museum on the 19th); April 9, 23; and May 14, 28.

Counselor and physical therapist Birgitta Dallwig-Yajima, in Tokyo, told us she values the way the Right Side regimen holds the interest of children she counsels for attention-deficit disorder.

"One child who took the workshop changed quite a lot," she says. "He really started to look (at the world around him)."

And after his own children completed a workshop, David wrote: "Thank you so much for what you taught my kids. They will benefit from this for the rest of their lives. I want my wife to take the class also. When is the next one?"

For that information, call or fax: 03-5484-3719; E-mail: rbr@gol.com; or check out: member.nifty.ne.jp

A bulletin board can be found at : www82.tcup.com/8240/kristinnewton.html


Finally, a quickie. Sindel ( sindels@hotmail.com) in Kagoshima is currently seeking a good hairstylist in the city. Do our readers have any recommendations?

Send your queries, questions, problems and posers, to: lifelines@japantimes.co.jp

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