President’s Message

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As I have met with members of many temple organizations in the past month, I’ve been impressed with their friendliness, dedication and the work they do to help not only the Betsuin, but with the community at large. We’re fortunate to have so many people who practice dana, selfless giving.
We have annual awards recognizing our volunteers. I also wanted to highlight some groups and individuals who give their time generously to making a positive impact.
We featured some of these volunteers at the Annual Meeting in December. They are the Crafters, a small group of people who as their name indicates like to do crafts such as knitting. the Crafters, which is one part of the Sangha Support Committee. Led by Betty Kinoshita.
I had the pleasure of working with another group of volunteers, those who gather regularly to sort food for the Second Harvest Food Bank. On the night I joined the group of about 10 Sangha members who along with members of another group sorted, labeled and boxed 5,000 cans of fruit. We also saw Sangha member Sylvia King there. Sylvia was supervising volunteers, something she also does from time to time every month for the food bank. Thanks to Al Hironaga for organizing the temple’s participation in this worth cause.
Contact Al if you are interested in helping sort food, usually fruits starting at 7 p.m. and lasting less than two hours. The time goes quickly and there is a feeling of satisfaction when you finish.
Over the last four or five months, you might have seen people working on the roof and interior of the cottage directly across the office. They have been fixing up the cottage so that we can host new ministers for a months-long orientation before they first assignments. The first minister is expected to be joining us sometime in February or March for about a three-month-long orientation.
Steve Onishi, our vice president of vice-president, coordinated the work on the cottage. The roofing work unfortunately occurred on some of the hottest days of 2015. Thanks to Steve Onishi, George Yamaichi,, Bob Uenaka, Tony Yamashita, Jason Yamada, Jim Baylor, George Hanada, Stu Yamatake, Todd Tsudama, Keith Kadokura, Derek Fujikawa and David Tsukimura..
Janice Doi is someone who is constantly giving to the church. One of her projects has saved the temple tens of thousands of dollars. For the last several years, Janice has been working to get a property tax waiver for church property. After providing evidence to the Santa Clara County Tax Assessor’s Office that the properties were being used for tax exempt purposes, the assessor rebated the temple $90,000 in property taxes, and the decision means the temple will save about $30,000 every year in taxes we won’t have to pay.
There are many other examples of temple members helping out individually. They range from Lee Uyeda helping in the office, Emi Tsutsumi and Rajan Saigusa running the Open Door Café welcome booth during Sunday Services to 96-year-old Jim Sugai pulling weeds in the garden.
These are just a few of the dozens, if not hundreds of Sangha members who help the temple and others. If you’d like to highlight some other people, drop me a line at dakizuki@sbcglobal.net.
Thanks to one and all who make us a vibrant, giving and outstanding organization.