Help needed to fund, make project for Japanese relief
Though most Lake Oswego residents are looking forward to summer's hot weather, Rudi Drake and Manami Kiriakedis are dreading its arrival. And their concern isn't for unbearable heat in the Willamette Valley, but for those people living in shelters and other facilities in the earthquake, tsunami and radiation-devastated areas of northeast Japan. For them, keeping cool this summer will be of paramount concern.
'It's going to be hot and humid,' said Drake. The women, along with friends from their churches and area schools, have committed to making 10,000 cool ties, an item that was introduced during the Iraq war for the comfort of U.S. military personnel. The tie cools down the body temperature as its retained water evaporates through the air. Cool ties proved to be more efficient in keeping soldiers cool than a mere wet towel, which dries and then becomes an insulator. The tie holds nearly a cup of water in a small polymer enclosed in the middle part of the tie, forming a flat tube. The tube is sewn into the part of the tie that goes around the neck - where approximately 15 percent of body heat dissipates - and feels cool for several hours.
The women say the ties cost about $5 each to make; they are making an urgent plea for donations of money and/or fabric. They also need help cutting the fabric and sewing the ties.
They shipped 1,000 ties earlier this month and have an immediate goal to ship another 2,000 by June 25.
Students at Forest Hills, Lake Grove, Our Lady of the Lake and Lake Oswego and Lakeridge high schools have written 'Healing to the Heart' letters of encouragement to be distributed with the ties.
'They've written hundreds of letters,' said Kiriakedis. Others in the community have stepped up to help as well.
Linda Sirianni of Dipinto a Mano pottery studio in Lake Oswego will donate 20 percent of her sales June 10, 11 and 12 to the cause. The pottery studio is located at 425 Second Street, suite A100.
The cool tie project is part of the Hope Japan mission of the Japanese International Baptist Church. Visit www.jibconline.net for more information.