By David Ikeda
It was a busy holiday season at JSS.  In the spirit of Christmas and New Years it is a time also for us to give thanks to all of our donors and supporters as well as others who might only be interested in what we do.
First, a special thanks to our friends at the Toronto Nikkei Inter-Church Council for donating funds raised from their annual Joy of Christmas Concert held on December 6, 2013.  The Council is an umbrella organization representing Japanese Canadian churches in the GTA such as the Japanese Gospel Church of Toronto where the concert was held as well as others such as the Toronto Japanese Seventh Day Adventist, Japanese Methodist, Grace, Anglican, and Catholic and other Christian Churches.  The concert also featured the Jubilance Singers and Musicians.  The highlight of the evening was a performance of the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah by all of the choirs of the churches combined.
I was invited to speak at the event where I thanked all of those for attending.  Funds raised at the concert were given as they are every year to JSS.  Many of the attendees visited our table and dropped off donations as well.   The latter was very nice since we were able to personally thank them for their support.
The concert also gave me the opportunity to see more generosity from the community.  Our table was set up  beside the Gospel Church’s JSS Holiday Drive donation box.  Suffice it to say the box was overflowing with gifts of food, new clothing and toys.  JSS distributes these gifts to families in need and isolated people in our community.  This year we helped brighten up the holidays for 23 families or groups or a total of over 50 people.
Because of the growing generosity we need some help in finding more families or people in need.  If you know of anyone who may wish to participate in this program please contact our counselors.  Mr. Kuge and Ms. Mifune will contact them to see if they qualify.
But again on behalf of JSS I thank all of you who contributed as well as all of the community organizations that allowed us to place donation boxes on their premises.
In the immediate future programs such as Nobody’s Perfect (supported by the City of Toronto which helps young mothers develop childcare skills) and the popular Caravan Mates training for partners and friends of people with dementia will be re-starting soon.
So please stay tuned and once again thanks for all of the wonderful support and interest.