National Honor Society members give back to community
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan -- Nineteen students with the National Honor Society at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, visited the Kaede Nursing Home in Iwakuni, Nov. 17, 2015.
This visit allowed students the opportunity to give back to the local community, experience a new culture and make new friends. Events like this aides in strengthening the bond between the station residents and the local community.
Aidan Lewis, a National Honor Society student, said giving back to the community is something he greatly enjoys and hopes to do again.
“Experiences like this are unforgettable,” said Lewis. “Events like these help show the Japanese our desire to be part of their community. Not only are we making new friends, we’re doing it in a fun way that shows we care about the people of Iwakuni.”
The Youth and Teen Center came together with the National Honor Society to coordinate this visit for the first time in 2014 and immediately after, residents asked when they would visit again.
“The first time we went was wonderful,” said Paula Smedes, a program assistant with Youth and Teen Center. “The residents really enjoy it. They get to have some American friends come in and hang out with them, which isn’t something they experience often.”
Fujimoto Toshifumi, owner of the Kaede Nursing Home, greeted students at the front door to introduce himself and expressing his appreciation for their attendance.
Afterward, students split into two groups. One group helped residents paint Christmas ornaments, and the other group cooked and baked alongside the residents and staff.
Cooking, baking and painting were not the only activities provided during the visit. There was also a magic show and one of the residents played the Koto, the national instrument of Japan, for the visitors.
Muranaka Masumi, a resident at the nursing home, said he really enjoys having to opportunity to interact with the American students.
The Youth and Teen Center and the National Honor Society plan to make this an annual event, bringing new activities every time.