Polaris Rescue Team Brings Spirit of Christmas to Typhoon Ravaged Town in Japan

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Three months after providing disaster relief in Takashima, Captain Kieram Litchfield from Polaris Rescue returned to help again; this time not with bottled water and supplies, but with Christmas cake.

Just three months before, Typhoon 18 struck the city of Takashima, the hardest hit city in the Shiga Prefecture where several homes in the Minami-gamo district were destroyed and many were heavily damaged by 5-6 foot flood waters. Since then the people of Minami-gamo have made considerable progress in repairs and rebuilding.

In order to bring the resilient residents some Christmas cheer, Litchfield coordinated with the Takashima Social Welfare Council to have 26 Christmas cakes made, one for each flooded-damaged home in Minami-gamo.

On a brisk December 23rd morning, Litchfield along with representatives from the Takashima Social Welfare Council went door to door distributing Christmas cake as well as other gifts to residents.

"Me and my fellow volunteers worked very hard here, and since then the residents have done a tremendous job rebuilding their town. I really admire the Japanese people. As far as the cakes go, I know cake is just cake, but I wanted to let them know that they are not alone, that people still do care about them and are thinking of them. This is very much in the spirit of Christmas and the holiday season. Also, I've always wanted to be Santa Claus for a day," smiled Litchfield.

"The people were truly touched and overjoyed to receive the cake," said Mrs Yoshida of the Takashima Social Welfare Council.

Polaris Rescue is a newly formed international disaster medical response team staffed by volunteers.

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Akira Tanazaki
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