|Volunteers planting native species near Sendai as part of the Great Forest Wall Project.|
I firmly believe that volunteering is one of the best ways to meet people, get to know a community, and to lend a hand. It educates the volunteer about the world around them, often the one just outside the doorstep that should be the most visible but often goes entirely unseen for far too long.
At home in the US I volunteered with a variety of organizations, and when we came to Japan I wanted to continue; however, there were a few challenges. Even eight years ago, there wasn't the same budding volunteer culture or a feeling for the importance of non-profit organizations. That, though, has started to change, and there is more interest in as well as a push for volunteers than ever before. It's a wonderful thing to see happening here, to see so many hands offered in order to help others. Read my story about volunteering in Japan and find out how to get involved.