The first typhoon caused lasting damage and the second typhoon caused damage to repairs and caused delays to the already slow recovery of the city. Tateyama is still on the road to its recovery, but due to the extensive damage caused, a full recovery will take some time.
We were lucky to have two marathon runners from Tateyama visit Bellingham to run in the 2019 Bellingham Bay Marathon in between the two Typhoons. The two ladies were able to do homestays and explore Bellingham before leaving on October 1st. On Septemeber 30th, a BSCA member hosted a wonderful get together to bid our visitors farewell. At the farewell dinner, BSCA members and members of the local running community presented our visitors with the well-wishes banner you all helped create and a donation from a Bellingham running group to go towards Tateyama’s recovery.
Bellingham, we are so proud of your outpouring of support and compassion for our friends in Japan. The kind words and thoughts help strengthen out international friendships and the donations that have been so generously given will help Tateyama recover from the onslaught of natural disasters they have experienced this year. Way to go Bellinghamsters!
And there’s more!
Did you know that we were interviewed by a local radio host about the disaster in Tateyama? you can watch it on Youtube.
The Banner that we sent home with the runners was well-received by the Tateyama city hall. They even featured it in the local newspaper: The Bonichi Shimbun
Roughly translated the article read:
Runners to deliver “support banner” and cash donations from sister city
Bellingham, Tateyama’s sister city in the US is working to spread it’s efforts to support the recovery from the recent Typhoon devastation that hit the region. Two runners recently participated in the Bellingham Bay Marathon delivered the “support banner”, a large collection of messages and signatures from Bellingham residents as well as cash donations to the mayor’s office. Bellingham Sister City Association spearheaded this charity program with collaborations of a local radio station and of volunteer staff and members. The “support banner” is approximately 5’ x 7’ in size and is filled with the Bellingham residents’ words of encouragement and signatures for the typhoon victims. Many residents sent cash donations through the City’s designated donation website. Bellingham’s local BBay Running also offered cash donations from it’s members. These were delivered to Mayor Kanamaru by Satoko Nakamura and Yoko Tachikawa, who participated in the recent Bellingham Bay Marathon. Nakamura and Tachikawa stated “Wherever we went, people asked after us after learning about the typhoon devastation” and that they were hesitant to travel in the midst of the typhoon aftermath, however it was meaningful to share what was happening back home with the locals and to bring Bellingham’s caring support back.
The support banner is currently displayed in the lobby of Tateyama City Hall. The City is thankful for the support and stated that Bellingham residents’ support is the reflection of the 60 years of nurtured sister city relationship and that they intend to strengthen the mutually supportive relationship moving forward.
We have loved seeing everyone get so involved and invested in the well being of our Sister City. We hope to continue that momentum into the next year and continue to generate community involvement locally and across the globe.
If you’re interested in getting involved with us, it is easy to do. You can sign up here. Help us continue on the path to World Peace.