Taylor Anderson was the first confirmed American casualty of the March 11, 2011 tsunami in Japan. As part of the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme, Taylor spent two and a half years teaching English to kindergarten, lower school and junior high school students in the coastal city of Ishinomaki of Miyagi Prefecture. She was last seen helping and assuring her students after the disaster.
Taylor’s passion and love for the people of Japan is carried on through the Taylor Anderson Memorial Fund. Taylor’s sister Julia contacted St. Catherine’s to ask for advice on how to set up a memorial fund and St. Catherine’s graciously volunteered to set up the Taylor Anderson ’04 Memorial Fund.
Taylor’s family established it along with St. Catherine’s because St. Catherine’s had the legal and administrative structure necessary and Taylor is a 2004 St. Catherine’s graduate. It was established the week of March 21st, 2011.
In July 2014, this US NPO was taken over by a Japanese NPO as Taylor Anderson Memorial Fund. Taylor’s family decided to stay with people in the devastated area on a long-term basis.
The main purposes of the Fund are to help students, schools and families in the Ishinomaki area recover from the earthquake and tsunami as Taylor’s family expects Taylor would have wanted, and to pursue Taylor’s dream of being a bridge between the U.S. and Japan.
The non-profit organizations we work with have contributed 100% of what they received from Taylor’s fund to the projects we identify with them. We think Taylor would be very proud of this. Her spirit encourages us and gives us the strength to do our best in her honor and keep her spirit alive in all of us.