By Julie Frederickson
In 2007, I had the privilege of being an ambassador to Winona’s sister city, Misato in the Miyagi Prefecture of Japan. Within hours of arriving in the small Winona-sized city, we were immersed in the culture of Japan. A band, the mayor, seemingly half the community, and an array of gifts and performances greeted us upon arrival.
The people of Misato were eager to share their culture with us and see to it that we were comfortable and cared for. They were equally as thrilled to hear about our culture. I cannot forget the remarkable compassion within the people of Misato.
When the earthquake hit, I frantically tried to contact my two home stay companions, Azusa and Hitomi. Both remained unharmed by the Earthquake, but Hitomi lost the roof to her family home. Azusa sent me pictures of the destruction in Misato that is still to be dealt with.
Misato will forever hold a special place in my heart and I wish to extend as much help as possible to my friends and their deserving community. I hope you will join me in this campaign.
Please support Misato Relief through the purchase of a Misasto band or making a contribution in one of our Red Misato jars.
Together, we can help this town rebuild itself. For more about relief efforts taking place in the city of Winona please visit