As keeper of the 500 Frogs blog, I owe everyone an apology for not updating more efficiently. This project has been an ongoing, worldwide effort for the past year and a half. Even though the internet gives us instantaneous communication, life still dictates daily duties. The home base for 500 Frogs is with Deb & Randy in California. Our logo was created by Therese in Switzerland. Frogs have been lovingly painted from all four corners of the world! I am in Florida. Our hope was to have all frogs pictured on this site. My intent was to have all the updates from Anne Thomas on this site. Even though they aren’t here now, it’s my plan to eventually get them archived for all to see. Deb has painstakingly documented everything. I’m honored to have been part of such an inspired out-pouring of love.
~ Kathleen Prince
Update from Deb Buckler – Founder 500 Frogs Project
Well folks…… we just shipped the last boxes of frogs to the children of Japan. 500 Frogs is over. I’m sitting here tonight thinking… OMG! 500 Frogs has been such a big part of my life for the past year and a half. I can’t imagine what my house will be like without all these little frogs everywhere! It’s a little sad. But what a feeling of accomplishment!
500 Frogs happened because of US, the model horse world! Once it got rolling, I was able to get schools and churches and organizations all over to help send a beautiful, hand painted frog to a child in Japan who had lost so much in the March 11, 2011 disaster. I had hoped to be able to send 500 frogs to Japan. But in the end, we have now sent 714 frogs!!! That’s a lot of little hand-made resin cast frogs! Together, we have done something truly phenomenal.
As we all get on with our lives and struggle with our own problems, it’s easy to forget what happened in a country clear on the other side of the world, over a year and a half ago. Here is a pretty good documentary video that is a collection of videos shot during the earthquake and the following tsunami. It wasn’t enough that their buildings and streets were ruined by the earthquake. It wasn’t enough that their towns and farmlands, families and friends were washed out to sea. Now what’s left of much of their country is poisoned by radiation leaking from the nuclear power plant in Fukushima.
Our amazing friend, Anne Thomas, has kept us updated on the progress and conditions in Japan. She has been instrumental in getting each one of our wonderful frogs safely into the hands of a child or elder who needs to know the world hasn’t forgotten them and cares about their grief. On September 30th, Anne will be taking this last batch of frogs to a school in Iwaki, a region badly hit by the tsunami. There will be a special festival honoring the sad events of the past year, so our frogs in all their brightly colored, hand made pouches, will be a delightful treat. As usual, Anne promises lots of pictures and a story of the event. I can not wait and I will absolutely keep you all posted!
Other good things came from the 500 Frogs effort. One of the biggest was the lone hold out fellow, Naoto Matsumura, who refused to leave the city of Tomioko so he could care for the animals and pets who had been left behind. Because we helped raise awareness about his struggle to care for and feed all the abandoned animals, my best friend, Nanci Caron, spearheaded a “chip-in” fund. Before long, $20,000 had been raised for his aid! Nanci is no longer involved with this project, but it continues on. Mr. Matsumura has now gotten non-profit status so he can help other people who have hidden out in various villages to feed the pets and animals. The out-pouring of love for the animals has been so wonderful to see. And since he now has money, Mr. Matsumura has been traveling to the government officials and petitioning them to do more for the animals of Japan.
Like bread cast upon the water or a tiny stone… the ripple effect has been amazing, so much good. I am humbled and thankful to be part of the good things that have happened. I am so thankful to every one of you who painted frogs, sewed pouches, donated. We all did this together. We made a difference in the world.
Lastly, a bit of harsh reality. We shipped out 5 boxes of frogs today, each one costing $81!!!!! I almost fainted at the Post Office. I knew it would be expensive. I had scrounged together a little extra money but I was not prepared for $81 a box – at 5 boxes!!! So now I’m begging for some more donations! Please, if you can chip in anything it will help.
Anyone sending $20 or more, I will send them a special “Thank You Frog” from 500 Frogs. Please! Please! Paypal works great, just use our e-mail:
I was very worried when I wrote that check at the Post Office but Randy just says, “Hmmm… I wonder what God’s gonna do about THIS?”
I do love that man.
I am a little melancholy tonight. I will miss 500 Frogs but know I will be “told” to do something else… heh, heh! Love you guys all so much.
Many Blessings ~