Happy Tails

Since 2015 the Tochigi JETs have been volunteering monthly at Happy Tails, a grassroots animal shelter in Utsunomiya. Check out the work at our Facebook page (run by Kelsey and the head honcho of the organization Nozawa-san) and Nozawa-san’s blog (translated by Kelsey, although spotty). For more details about our cause and what we do each month, check out Kelsey’s blog post about volunteering in animal shelters in Japan.

Other 2015~ Tochigi JET volunteer activities include:

  • Bamboo cutting with the Tochigi Conservation Corps, which is also always looking for volunteers year-round. They usually host a couple international volunteers, so language and cultural barriers are not a problem!
  • Emergency relief for those affected by the severe September flooding in Tochigi City.
  • Chilling with kids at Machipia’s New Year’s event to bring the 3 generations in families together and expose them to other cultures and peoples.
  • Playing with children living in temporary housing due to the 2011 disaster in Iwaki, Fukushima.
  • Planting trees in Nikko with the Tochigi Rotary Club.

Other potential volunteer activities include:

  • Pirouet (“holistic betterment and wellness through [horse] riding”)
  • YMCA

There’s a lot out there in our community. Machipia, a community center on the east side of JR Utsunomiya, has a list of needed volunteers on their website, color-coded by type of activity. It is in all Japanese, so if you need help, don’t hesitate to ask Kelsey (or contact Machipia and ask for Matsui-san, an enthusiastic woman who speaks great English).

List of Volunteer Centers around Tochigi