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US Co-ops raise $120,000 for Japanese Recovery

Washington, DC (Nov. 16, 2011) — Responding to the need to help the long-term recovery of the Japanese economy from this year’s natural disasters, the Cooperative Development Foundation (CDF) today announced an award of $120,000 to the Japanese Consumer Cooperative Union (JCCU) from CDF’s Co-op Emergency Fund for Japanese Recovery. 


“Our fundraising began within days of the earthquake and tsunami and today we are pleased to announce this grant award to JCCU for use in helping the Japanese cooperative community rebuild after this devastating natural disaster” said CDF Board Chair, Gasper Kovach, Jr.


The announcement was made today inWashington,DCandCancun,Mexicowhere the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) is having its General Assembly.  Representing CDF at the announcement in Cancun is Lindy Bannister, General Manager of the Wedge Community Co-op in Minneapolis, MN and a member of the US delegation to the ICA meeting.


“This is all about co-ops helping co-ops, one of the core Co-op Principles” said Kovach. “The funds raised come from cooperatives and members of cooperatives across theUnited States. The contributions range from a $50,000 check from the CHS Foundation to $15,000 in funds raised from the U.S. student housing co-op community, $5,000 contributions from multiple food co-ops and $5 and $10 contributions from individuals from across the country.  It’s also been a response that is about concern for community which is another of the fundamental Co-op Principles that are shared by co-ops worldwide.”


Kovach singled out the food cooperative community for special thanks for their response to the fundraising appeal.  “Every time there has been a major disaster, theU.S.food cooperative community has shown great compassion and generosity.  They always step up to the challenge and the response to the Japanese co-op community’s needs was no different – close to 50% of the funds raised for Japanese recovery came through the food co-op sector and it’s for that reason that CDF is pleased to have a member of the U.S. food co-op community, Lindy Bannister, making this presentation to JCCU on behalf of the entire U.S. cooperative community.”


“We thank the ICA for providing us with this opportunity to make this presentation during the ICA General Assembly.  Together we celebrate the resiliency of the Japanese cooperative community as we begin the worldwide observance of 2012 as the International Year of the Cooperative.  The theme of the observance is “Cooperatives Build a Better World” and nowhere is this more evident than in Japan.  We hope that these funds from the U.S. cooperative community will speed the recovery of Japanese cooperatives and enable them to continue to add value to the Japanese economy and the Japanese way of life,” Kovach concluded.


The Cooperative Development Foundation is a U.S.-based nonprofit charitable organization that promotes community, economic and social development through cooperative enterprise (www.cdf.coop).  CDF is the non-profit affiliate of the National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA).  CDF collects no fees for any of its costs associated with this fundraising and, as a result, 100% of the funds raised will be available to JCCU for the benefit of the Japanese cooperative community.

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