LaSalle is proud to be a supporter of Blue for Japan (BFJ), a non-profit organization that supports orphaned children and is dedicated to providing them with housing, resources and educational opportunities. In Japan, there are about 30,000 children living in orphanages and about 5,000 children living in foster care. Typically, when children living at these facilities reach age 18-20, they are required to leave the orphanages and become independent. While resources like housing and job opportunities are provided, the transition can be difficult for many of these young people, and they often feel isolated, unprepared and stressed. This can cause them to leave jobs, stop paying rent, or deal with other financial and personal struggles.
In order to help combat this, organizations like BFJ provide as many resources as possible to help children succeed and prepare for their life outside of the facilities in which they grow up. BFJ’s specific focus has expanded into assisting orphanages across Japan. However, BFJ’s reach is limited. Due to a huge increase in remote learning requirements because of the pandemic, the children being served by BFJ have been materially affected as they do not have access to computers or devices for online education. LaSalle’s donations over the years, including a gift of ¥1 million (approximately US$10,000) in December 2020, have allowed the organization to purchase 20 refurbished PCs for the children, which will give them access to vast educational and learning opportunities.
These children are already at a disadvantage given their circumstances, so it brings me happiness that we can provide them some support to make their life better. It’s wonderful to be able to help these children become independent adults, through providing resources to help them access good educational and job opportunities.– Ichiro Hikosaka, Managing Director, Leasing Management, and a dedicated volunteer with BFJ
LaSalle has worked with BFJ since 2018, when Keith Fujii, LaSalle’s Asia Pacific CEO and then-CEO of Japan, wanted to find a way to become more involved in community efforts. Hikosaka-san was able to make a connection with LaSalle and BFJ, and the organization was selected as one of the charities in which to support. Subsequently each year, LaSalle Japan has selected BFJ as their annual charity to support during the holiday season. LaSalle has donated $33,500 to the organization since 2018, and still plans this year to help the organization in whatever ways possible.
“I am a passionate volunteer for this organization, and it is great to see LaSalle has offered support each year to make a big impact,” said Hikosaka-san. “Team members and I have attended events organized by Blue for Japan over the years as well, and LaSalle continues to provide direct contributions to make a difference.”
For Hikosaka-san, this work underscores the important role we all play in our collective society to take care of those in need.
“As human beings, we need to help each other,” he said. “It makes me happy to work for a company like LaSalle where I can give and share what I have. Especially to children who need it most.”
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