Yutenji Cooking Project

Activity Overview

This group prepares meals to deliver to the elderly. Each Sunday, two or three students join the group of volunteers from Yutenji to cook balanced traditional Japanese meals. Since plenty of food is prepared, volunteers are invited to eat lunch at the end. No cooking skills are required, as the people who run the activity also instruct new-comers. The activity is quite social, as people of all ages attend, and SMIS volunteers have tended to enjoy themselves. The commitment is for at least one Sunday morning each month. Additionally, in-school meetings to discuss progress and special related events occur once a month.
Our volunteers are relied upon by IAVE, making their work meaningful. At the same time, the student volunteers have learned self reliance, leadership and the meaning of community service in the real sense of the term.

Aims

Activity Development – Over recent years, the Yutenji Cooking Club has seen its number of members increase, but because only four of them can volunteer each week, not all members are constantly contributing. It is hoped that all the members will be involved in some sort of Cooking Club activity at all times, helping the community through cooking and learning more about themselves as individuals.
Promoting the cause – The Cooking Club hopes to show other students in the school that they are a club worth joining and that they are working toward a good cause while having fun doing so. Cooking is very hands on, and it is hoped that other students can see the fun in volunteer work.
Bringing the school a good name – The Cooking Club hopes to bring a good name to St. Mary?s through honest and hard work.
Member involvement – The Yutenji Cooking Project not only consists of student members, but also elderly citizens who help in guiding the students. It is hoped that St. Mary?s students will continue to play a vital role in helping the community and that everyone will benefit from this.
Purpose
The purpose of the Yutenji Cooking Project is to help the local Yutenji community through volunteer work. By cooking delicious food, they are able to provide nourishment for the local community. The Club wishes to provide helpful volunteers as well as positive energy.
Group Philosophy
Each person who is a part of society has an obligation to help others.
Philosophy of the Parent Organization
The parent organization for the Cooking Project, IAVE, believes in helping those who need help, whether they reach out for it or not. The Japanese community is somewhat quiet and not outspoken, and IAVE wishes to overcome this obstacle and help those who may not speak up about their negative situation.

General Project Update

While three or four members go to Yutenji to volunteer in a cooking activity every week, the Yutenji Cooking club recently started making small snacks, such as brownies and cookies, to sell at the concession stand and increase awareness. Our most previous meeting involved a discussion of deciding the schedule for our main volunteer activity, and fixing the order of members who will bring snacks to sell.