Focusing on children, our future.

Our most widely anticipated event is the annual Santa Soul Train project, which spans 3 days in December and brings together the wider community – fostering solidarity, connections and community spirit. 

Imagine being a child and seeing Santas riding bikes, carrying their overstuffed sacks full of Christmas stockings and Christmas cards while belting out their jolly “ho ho hos” as they rolled into your community. The faces of the children and their parents light up when they see the Santas coming down the street. This holiday scene plays out in several cities throughout the disaster areas.

The event culminates with a few Christmas parties serving over 500 residents in Minamisanriku, Ishinomaki, Kesennuma and Fukushima. some, complete with dinner, entertainment, Santa and the surprise santa  stocking exchange  for the children.

This year, due to the pandemic, we will remove the in person events from the Santa Soul Train, but we are still committed to providing smiles and goodies this holiday season to children across the Tohoku region. To connect and inspire them. Remind them they are not alone and that their journey is valuable. Our goal is to exchange the Christmas cards also deliver stockings to 2000 children across Japan. 

In order to provide these moments for children to feel like they are contributing, like they are strong, that they are not alone, we  humbly ask the people in the communities that we live in to help us. 

Make a contribution to Place to Grow and enable thousands of children the opportunity to feel part of a bigger, connected and inspiring community.  Each stocking costs 3000¥ to fill and we hope that you will consider supporting Santa Soul Train by sponsoring one, two, five or more stockings this year.

Commemorating 10 years from the March 11, 2011 Earthquake and Tsunami…

リモートゲスト:Angela Ortiz(NPO法人Place to Grow創立者)

本日のGuy’s Guestsのコーナーでは、災害復興支援を行っているNPO法人Place to Growの創設者、Angela Ortizさんのインタビューをお届けしました。…

Putting a foreign face on the 3/11 recovery effort

Angela Ortiz heads the OGA For Aid NPO in tsunami-devastated Minamisanriku, on the Miyagi Prefecture coast. Ortiz focuses on “agricultural rehabilitation,” which brings together education and business. Her groups, mostly made up of volunteers from various countries, help with farming projects on land that she and her friends cleared in the forests after people had … Continue reading “Putting a foreign face on the 3/11 recovery effort”


Q2: Please state your motto in life and why you have chosen it. “There is no passion to be found in living a life that is less than what you are capable of living.” This quote from Nelson Mandela keeps me excited to continually move out of my comfort zone and eager to learn more, … Continue reading “DIRECTORY OF WHO’S WHO IN THE WORLD OF BUSINESS IN JAPAN”


大鵬薬品は、2015年からNPO法人Place to Grow※の活動に賛同し、宮城県南三陸町で毎年12月に実施されるクリスマスパーティー「サンタ・ソウルトレイン」に協賛しています。 Click here for full article…

Santa Soul Train by Place to Grow !~南三陸からメリークリスマス!~

早いもので12月も半分!寒さが日に増して厳しくなってきていますが、南三陸はまだ雪が積もっていません。これからドサッと降るのか、このまま降らないのか..とにもかくにもお越しの際は必ず冬タイヤでお願いします! Click here for full article…

For ‘student of life’ Angela Ortiz, lessons from family and ‘Grit MBA’ from Tohoku led to dream job

BY KRIS KOSAKA SPECIAL TO THE JAPAN TIMES NOV 23, 2016ARTICLE HISTORY PRINT SHARE “Almost every step of my adult life has been hands-on learning,” explains Angela Ortiz, a self-confessed “student of life” who currently works as Japan director of corporate social responsibility (CSR) for H&M, the popular global fashion firm. Click here for full article…

Volunteers staying the course in Tohoku

Jesse Ortiz, Kei Watabe, Angela Ortiz, Erwin Ortiz, Aika Nollan
First responders…

TOHOKU CHARITY EVENT: BRITISH-STYLE PUB Quiz Night to benefit “O.G.A. for Aid”

Hobgoblin Roppongi British Pub sponsors TOHOKU CHARITY EVENT: BRITISH-STYLE PUB Quiz Night to benefit “O.G.A. for Aid” Click here for full details…

O.G.A. FOR AID No One left behind by Angela Ortiz & Peter Blake

O.G.A. FOR AID is a non profit organization involved with relief and recovery work in Tohoku. From just a few days after the disaster of March 11 2011, O.G.A. FOR AID staff have been helping with distribution of emergency supplies throughout devastated areas in Miyagi.The Recovery support phase saw O.G.A. FOR AID initiate two projects … Continue reading “O.G.A. FOR AID No One left behind by Angela Ortiz & Peter Blake”

Angela Ortiz

The Tohoku region, that was hit by the 9.0 earthquake and tsunami, is Angela Ortiz’s home. The aftermath left Angela focused on helping to get people back on their feet, and rebuild their lives. OGA for Aid is a organization that helps survivors in the Tohoku area, organizing events for families, and raise awareness and interest … Continue reading “Angela Ortiz”

TOMODACHI, Sports Camp of America, and O.G.A. FOR AID Hold American Summer Camp for Youth in Minami-Sanriku

The TOMODACHI Initiative, the Sports Camp of America (SCOA) and O.G.A. FOR AID are pleased to announce that 40 children between the ages of 6 and 12 from Minami-Sanriku, Miyagi Prefecture, participated in an American-style summer camp Aug. 15-16, 2012. The summer camp took place at the San San Kan in Minami-Sanriku, a town that … Continue reading “TOMODACHI, Sports Camp of America, and O.G.A. FOR AID Hold American Summer Camp for Youth in Minami-Sanriku”


こんにちは、むっちゃんです(*^^) 今月11日、OGAクリスマスパーティーが盛大に開催されました!! 今年で6回目を迎えます。ちなみに、昨年のブログはこちら Click here for full article…

Tohoku Charity Evening with Support our Kids and O.G.A. for Aid

ANZCCJ invites members and guests toTohoku Charity Evening with Support our Kids and O.G.A. for Aid Click here for full article…

Christmas in Tohoku with OGA for AID

What one child called a “dark wall” rising from the sea crashed down on Minami-Sanriku, destroying the city hall, and washing away everyone and everything in its path. People’s lives were turned upside down. Relatives and friends died. Houses were torn apart. Businesses and employment floated out to sea. Following the destruction of the 3.11 … Continue reading “Christmas in Tohoku with OGA for AID”

Volunteering with O.G.A. for Aid in Minamisanriku

O.G.A. for Aid works for Disaster Relief, Community Rehabilitation & Economic Enhancement. Currently operations are ongoing in Minamisanrikucho, Miyagi Ken, Tohoku. A town which suffered 95% infrastructure wipe out in the 2011 tsunami. Click here for full article…

Angela Ortiz: ‘I’d like to see Tohoku contributing to Japan and the world’

Name: Angela M. OrtizAge: 32Nationality: AmericanOccupation: Representative director OGA for Aid, an NGO active in the reconstruction of TohokuLikes: Dancing, reading, sports, travelDislikes: Small spaces, waiting in lines Click here for full Japan Times article…

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April Easter Workshop

This Easter Sunday SOGO Team (Kevin, Elma, and Ruri) from Tokyo joined PlaceTo Grow workshops in Tohoku and led fitness games and activities to help continue to bring communities together. This year our goal is to connect the communities through wellness and fitness. This was the second SOGO trip to Tohoku & we focused on … Continue reading “April Easter Workshop”

8 Years On, Remembering 3.11

Today marks 8 years since the 3.11 earthquake and tsunami that devastated Tohoku. In this time of remembrance, we’re also reflecting on the growth of affected communities and celebrating the hope with which they look into the future…

Our Wonderful World – Club Asobiba

July 21st – 22nd, 2018 After arriving at Minamisanriku on Saturday, we went to Shizugawa High School to meet with the former principal who will lead the “Minamisanriku Junior Academy”. There, we discussed the details and goals of the program, how PTG will be involved, and presented this to the first prospective participant, his mother, … Continue reading “Our Wonderful World – Club Asobiba”

Local Interview #3

1.   Why is a community important to you as a mother? Having a community allows mothers to meet and learn from various generations, to receive support from the community and grow with their children. Through interactions with people from different backgrounds, children can learn the basics manners, including greetings. 2.   What value do you think … Continue reading “Local Interview #3”

Father’s Day Workshop @ Asobiba

When volunteers Aki, Kayleigh and Lucia arrived at Asobiba at 1pm on Saturday we were greeted by children on the playground and two donkeys that they take care of.While the children were having late lunch we prepared for the workshop beside them. They were so curious as they watched us dissolving a large amount of salt into bottled water, which was to be used later in the day…

Asobiba Easter Workshop

6 years ago the community of Oya was hit by the tsunami of 3.11.  Hundreds of families came together at the Teragai community center where OGA for Aid worked to coordinate food and water supplies. Temporary housing was built near by and hundreds moved into the courtyard of the elementary school – the facilities stand … Continue reading “Asobiba Easter Workshop”

Art Workshop #2 with Ohana International School

This November 6th, we hit the road bright and early for a weekend adventure in Minami Sanriku, lead by the fantastic people at Ohana International School

Satoumi Farm – BBQ & Wool Workshop

For PTG’s August workshop, we partnered with Satoumi Farm to enjoy outdoor activities with families in Minami Sanriku…

Iriya Umeboshi Workshop

PTG’s July workshop took place at Iriya Community Center on Sunday, July 24, 2016. There were approximately 26 participants, of which two were children—a six-year-old girl and her little brother…

Nagoya Mosaic Workshop

PTG’s June workshop was held on June 11th at Hotel Kanyo. This event was focused on bringing children and their families in Minami Sanriku (MSR) together to enjoy mosaic art…

Hogan Lovells

Volunteering and citizenship (corporate social responsibility) is a very important part of the work of all of our employees at Hogan Lovells and we encourage full participation in these types of activities.  In the case of choosing which charities to support…

Kamiwarizaki Day Camp

PTG’s May workshop was held on May 28th at the Kamiwarizaki Camp Site.  It was a large event that focused on children and families in Minami Sanriku (MSR), in celebration of spring time together, and with members of the international community…

Ohana Art Workshop

On January 24th, a cold wave hit Minami Sanriku with a light dusting of snow. Ten children arrived at the Portal Center and warmed up the room by the time we began our first art workshop…