Japan’s ambassador sends gifts and thank you letter to Colonial for books of hope

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The gifts sent by Japan’s New York ambassador in thanks for Colonial’s books of hope.

PRINCIPAL’S OFFICE — Mrs. Tonya Wilson received gifts and a thank you letter on March 3 from the Ambassador and Consul General of Japan for something Colonial students did almost a year ago.

Some may remember the books of hope that Colonial students made last year for Japan. Most people won’t, but now it is time to look back.

Last year, after the terrible earthquake and tsunami on March 11, every class in Colonial made a book about hope to send to the Japanese people. The Colonial Times wrote a story about the books, and the reporters who did that story as well as other newspaper staffers were invited to the Japanese consulate to deliver the books. The books were received and here we are a year later, with a letter and gifts of thanks from Japan.

“In the aftermath of the disaster, the people of Japan’s Tohoku region were staring in the face of vast destruction,” wrote Ambassador Shigeyuki Hiroki in the letter. “But it was not long before they received a helping hand to pull their hearts from the clutches of despair. Those helping hands were yours, the hands of Japan’s friends abroad. Tremendous financial, material and spiritual support poured into Japan after March 11, and the kindness shown by generous souls like yourself deeply moved the Japanese people.”

In an interview, Mrs. Wilson said, “Basically, I was just like, wow, what a great thank you.”

Fourth grade teacher Mrs. Linda Carlson, who came up with the idea of sending the books, said “I never thought we’d get anything in return. Who knew something so little could make such a big difference?”

As well as the letter, Colonial received five really nice Japanese gifts: two dolls, two pieces of fabric and one plank of wood with Japanese writing on it. The gifts represent hope for the people of Japan. No matter how many times they are knocked over,  they stand up with a smile. One doll is a girl, skinny and tall, and the other is a short and plump boy. But who really cares what the dolls look like? It’s the thought that counts.

Once again, thank you to Japan and Japan’s government. Colonial students respect the kind words and presents they received.