ABOUT PHOTO: United Worldwide’s Jason Dornhoffer with All Hands volunteer Amya Miller.
SUMMARY: United Worldwide of Boston sent basic necessities to help the survivors of the earthquake and tsunami that ravaged Japan’s northeast coast in March.
BOSTON, Mass. – For Amya Miller, owner of LUPINE AND COMPANY and Japanese cultural consultant to Boston-based UNITED WORLDWIDE PRIVATE CAR SERVICE, the massive 9.0 earthquake and subsequent tsunami that devastated the northeast coast of Japan in March literally hit home; she was born in Japan and lived there for 18 years.
With the help of United Worldwide, Miller left Boston on March 31 to spend two months in the tsunami-wrecked towns of Rikuzentakata and Ofunato, offering her translating services to aid in the relief effort. Rikuzentakata was so badly struck by the earthquake and tsunami that The Mainichi Daily News reported that nearly 70% of the town’s homes were destroyed, and declared “RIKUZENTAKATA HAS BEEN ERASED.”
Miller took with her an army bag filled with about $400-$500 worth of basic necessities donated by UNITED WORLDWIDE.
“Amya is a good friend of ours who’s been assisting us with her advice about Japanese culture, and we wanted to help her out as best we could,” said United Worldwide co-owner Jason Dornhoffer. Miller had been advised that everything was completely destroyed and the survivors only had whatever was in their hands when the tsunami hit, so Dornhoffer found the biggest bag he could get his hands on and stuffed it to the brim with all the basics, such as toothpaste, underwear, and clothing.
As of Monday, April 4, Japan’s National Police Agency confirmed 12,259 people were dead and 15,315 were still missing.
Miller is traveling with an organization called ALL HANDS VOLUNTEERS, which she chose because it is a smaller organization, meaning less money is taken for overhead and donations get to those in need sooner.
“I won’t mince words: I’m scared,” said Miller, who is extremely grateful to her family for their support. “I also know this is the right thing to do. The devastation [in Japan] is beyond what we could ever imagine; people have lost everything. The people of Japan are a resilient people, and they will get through this. I spent so many years there; I just feel that I need to do something to help.”
For more information on how to contribute to disaster-relief efforts, please visit ALL HANDS VOLUNTEERS. With a total of 165,082 households without electricity and more than 175,000 households without running water, even a small contribution can make an enormous difference.
UNITED WORLDWIDE is a private car service founded in 2006 by Terry Murtaugh and Jason Dornhoffer. Murtaugh began in the industry in 1994 as a chauffeur, and soon after became dispatcher of a ten-car operation. After ten years of hard work, he became general manager of that same company, which is now a 60 vehicle operation with over 200 hundred employees and $30 million a year in revenue. Jason Dornhoffer brings several years of business development and operations experience from both the financial services sector and consumer goods industry. United Worldwide's motto is: Big company know how, small company values.
SOURCE: UNITED WORLDWIDE; Michael Campos, LCT assistant editor