Special NYC service for Japan victims

March 20, 2011 3:29:35 PM PDT
Japan was on the minds and in the hearts of those who gathered for a special memorial service on the Upper West Side.

On this day set aside for one's faith, there is a sense of uncertainty during this special memorial service at the New York Buddhist Church.

Many of its members have lost relatives and friends in northeast Japan.

People like Kazuko Sato.

She grew up about 55 miles north of Sendai.

"That's so heartbreaking to see all the videos and photo but you can't do anything. Just pray for their safety," Sato said.

This is one of many Buddhist organizations that has joined hands, acting as a conduit for those in need of support.

About 1/4 of its members have roots in Japan and are still not sure where things stand back home.

"Everyone was on the phone calling up friends and relatives in Japan and some haven't heard yet because people were taken to evacuation shelters that have no communications at all," NY Buddhist Church member Nancy Okada said.

The church is collecting donations that will be sent to their national headquarters in Kyoto.