Students Trying To Raise Money For Decimated Homeland

PURCHASE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — For Japanese-Americans, watching what’s taking place a world a way is heart-breaking and stressful.

The country’s prime minister said it’s is a tragedy for Japan unequalled since World War II and for Japanese-Americans here in the Tri-State Area the interconnectivity of the modern world is making them feel their homeland’s pain almost as if they were there.

Go to for continuing international coverage of the disaster in Japan

“Overwhelmed. I just keep watching … is it true? There is a wave coming and people are driving on the bridge,” social worker Fumi Matsuki Raith told CBS 2’s John Metaxas.

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The images of destruction from the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear catastrophe are clearly hitting home here — at the prestigious Keio Academy in Purchase.

“I get emails from my parents. We watch YouTube, TV … it’s a disaster,” Keio senior Takuma Ueno said.

At one psychological counseling center in lower Manhattan, Metaxas saw four clients, each of whom talked about their anxiety.

Students at Keio were glad to get support from students from Washington DC’s Kamit Institute. Students are so moved by the events in Japan, they, themselves, have tried collecting bottles, selling T-shirts and pushing other efforts to raise money to help loved ones back home.

Maybe it’s a little bit of money, but we hope it will be a surprising amount,” student Reyna Yamamoto said.

The students said they’ll continue their fundraising, with one telling Metaxas, “We’re Japanese and Japanese people are suffering. There’s no way we can do nothing.”

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