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American Red Cross provides support for victims, relief forces
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Members of the Queenland Urban Search and Rescue Taskforce partake in the refreshments provided by the American Red Cross here March 14. The Red Cross volunteers operate a canteen 24-hours a day for inbound relief forces. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Kimberly Spinner)
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American Red Cross provides support for victims, relief forces

Posted 3/15/2011   Updated 3/16/2011 Email story   Print story


by Airman John Partlow
374th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

3/15/2011 - YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- The American Red Cross has been involved in a number of activities to support people, both on  Yokota, and off base as well, following Japan's 8.9 magnitude earthquake and tsunami March 11.

It began Friday afternoon, as passengers from airliners diverted to Yokota from quake-stricken Narita International Airport in Tokyo. Passengers from two of the 11 diverted airliners ended up receiving overnight shelter at the Taiyo Community Center here.

Right away, the American Red Cross volunteers went to work. They fed diverted airline passengers and handed out blankets and pillows. They even provided them with access to Skype, thereby enabling the passengers to contact family members around the globe.

Yet their assistance did not end there. When the 374th Civil Engineer Squadron needed help cleaning rooms in a residential tower to house in-bound search and rescue crews, Red Cross Volunteers answered the call.

"There were more 160 volunteers that showed up and in less than an hour. They prepped an entire tower," said Mary Basiliere, senior station manager for the Yokota Red Cross.

Not only did they help fix up the rooms, but they now man a 24-hour canteen at the reception processing center here to provide incoming relief forces with refreshments.

In addition to the support the American Red Cross has given to the base, they have established channels to accept monetary donations. These donations go toward rebuilding Japan's damaged infrastructure, as well as buying supplies to go where they are needed most.

To donate on base, visit the American Red Cross office located in the Airman and Family Readiness Center with a check or money order.

Those wishing to donate may also mail a money order to P.O. Box 4002018, Des Moines, Iowa 50340-2018 or visit www.redcross.org. To donate from the U.S., call 1-800-HELP-NOW or 1-800-4357-669.

Anyone wishing to volunteer for the Yokota Red Cross can send an e-mail to yokota.volunteer@yahoo.com.

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