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Unique and vintage Japanese items like kimono, teaware, games, and artwork are available at Japonicamomiji.ca. Photos courtesy: Caitlin Kaneko.
TORONTO — The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges to charitable organizations worldwide, especially those that rely on fundraising events to generate financial support and awareness of their mission. One organization that was particularly hit hard by the pandemic was Momiji Health Care Society, a not-for-profit charitable organization whose objective is to assist seniors—primarily of Japanese Canadian descent—age with respect, dignity, and independence. To prioritize the safety of their tenants, Momiji cancelled the majority of their 2020-2022 fundraising events, such as the Community Bazaar and Annual Bowlathon.
One of Momiji’s most highly anticipated fundraisers is Japonica, which features unique and vintage Japanese items for sale. However, the pandemic resulted in the cancellation of two consecutive Japonica events, leading to a considerable financial strain on the organization’s operations. Momiji was able to host Japonica in 2022. However, the event was significantly scaled down to respect capacity limits and other COVID-19 measures.
To address the challenges posed by the pandemic and recover some of the lost funds from cancelled events, Momiji’s Communication and Development department and the Japonica volunteers, led by Mayumi Maemura, launched the website, Japonicamomiji.ca, to sell the Japonica inventory online. This fundraising project allows customers to purchase one-of-a-kind Japanese items while simultaneously supporting Momiji Health Care Society—from the comfort of their homes. By embracing e-commerce and shifting its sales approach to a digital platform, the goal is that Momiji will be able to maintain connections with its supporters and continue its critical fundraising efforts, despite the challenging circumstances of the pandemic.
Momiji is so grateful for their supportive community that has generously donated all the products on the Japonica website. Donors not only add to the variety of products available on the website, but their donations also are a visual representation of the community’s shared commitment to Momiji’s mission.
When customers visit Japonicamomiji.ca, they can browse through the website categories, including kimono, teaware, games, artwork, etc. Currently, a curated sample of products are available on the website, and they frequently add new products. Visitors are recommended to revisit the website often to avoid missing out on highly sought-after items. Additionally, various payment methods are accepted, such as cash, credit, PayPal, and cheque. Delivery is currently only offered to most locations in Toronto and the GTA.
In addition to the marketplace, the website also has a section on Japanese culture. The Japonica team hopes that this information page will help visitors further understand the full intrinsic value of the merchandise while also creating a welcoming environment to learn about different aspects of Japanese and Japanese Canadian culture.
The COVID-19 pandemic has produced exceptional challenges for charitable organizations but it has also presented an opportunity for innovation and ingenuity. The decision to launch a website to sell Japanese items was a pragmatic solution to many of the current fundraising obstacles. It is hoped that japonicamomiji.ca will continue to garner significant funds so Momiji can serve its community of seniors for many years to come.
Explore the Japonica website at www.japonicamomiji.ca.
If you would like to get involved with or have questions about the Japonica website, please email email@example.com.
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