"You have to work hard to offend Christians. By nature, Christians are the most forgiving, understanding, and thoughtful group of people I've ever dealt with. They never assume the worst. They appreciate the importance of having different perspectives. They're slow to anger, quick to forgive, and almost never make rash judgments or act in anything less than a spirit of total love . . . No, wait--I'm thinking of Labrador retrievers!" David Learn, 1998

Saturday, March 26, 2011

HOW TO HELP: Offer homestays to Japanese refugees

This comment appeared on one of my recent posts:
Does anyone know if there is a refugee program or who to contact, to be able open up our home to any Japanese kids or families needing help?
Please let me know.
Pastor Kip

     I want to know, too! I suggested contacting Red Cross/Japan.  

NOTE (4-13-11): To date, CouchSurfing has turned out to be no help at all.
     Then, providentially, I came across another option called CouchSurfing.org. According to their website, CouchSurfing is a worldwide network for making connections between travelers and the local communities they visit.

     I've signed up and am still checking out how it works. The blogger who wrote about CouchSurfing in her post Doing. . . something. . . (on Okaasanandme) wrote: "I've been trying to help the Couch Surfing website, of which I am a member host, make itself usable to non-English speakers and first time visitors. Japan hosts (and amazingly even people in other countries!) have formed a sub group on Couch Surfing - over ONE THOUSAND offers of accommodation, ranging from futons on the living room floor to apartments and unused houses." She is working to get CouchSurfing in the U.S. to join in this effort by creating a special "Japan Crisis Housing" box on the top page of the website but hasn't heard from them yet. She writes, "I've drafted a press release for the Japanese media about these offers. But until the website is evacuee-friendly there is no point in promoting it."
     I think there is. People in other countries are offering "homestays" to the refugees. Maybe we can encourage CouchSurfing to make this possible for Americans, too.


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