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Tonkatsu Bento and Haiti Fundraiser

As I’m sure everyone knows by now, Haiti was rocked by a devastating earthquake on Tuesday. Yesterday, Susan Yuen of Hawaii’s Bento Box Cookbook contacted me, wanting to know if I’d be willing to run a fundraiser/giveaway to encourage people to donate money. A string of e-mails and options later, we ended up deciding on a lottery ticket deal.

Together, we are offering a total of 11 prizes. To be entered, we ask that you donate $5 to me, which will then be donated to the American Red Cross. Here is a photo of the grand prize packet, worth over $45:


Susan and I discussed the issue of trust with the donation, as I myself would recommend only donating directly to an aid organization. With both she and I having bento cookbooks coming out this Spring, we hope that our reputations will be enough to convince you that we will stay true to our word and make the donation once everything is done.


January 16, 2010 – It has come to our attention that the type of fundraiser we are currently holding is considered a raffle, which are illegal in the state of Hawaii. In order to comply with Hawaii State law, we will unfortunately need to make changes to the way the fundraiser is being held. These changes include:

  • Offer of full refund to those who have already donated with the opportunity to re-enter the drawing under the new rules.
  • Anyone can enter the drawing, however we request that you donate X amount of money (amount of your choice) directly to a reputable and verified Haiti relief organization.
  • Limit of one entry per person into the drawing.

Those that choose not to request a refund will still be entered in the drawing and 100% of your donation will still be given to the American Red Cross’ Haiti Relief effort.

While we realize that the new rules of this fundraiser do not guarantee donations to the cause we support, we are optimistic that the honor system will sustain the good will of our efforts and that no one will feel the need to deceive us in order to win the prize. Please accept our sincerest apologies for this terrible oversight on our part.

How to Enter:

You may enter one of two ways. Proof of donation is not required.

  1. Donate using the ‘Donate’ button at the top right area of my site. Use this option if you do not intend to claim it as a charitable donation. Please only use this option if you intend to donate $10 or less, as PayPal will take a small portion, which I am covering myself.
  2. Comment about the fundraiser and ask to be entered. If you donated money directly to a relief organization, please indicate the amount so that we are able to gauge how much we have raised.

There is a limit of one entry per person. This contest is open to participants worldwide.

Please note that you do not need to have a PayPal account to donate. Simply click “Continue” where it says “Don’t have a PayPal account?” and you can donate by credit card.


There will be a limit of one prize per person. Names will be drawn from a bento box (ha ha!), with the first name drawn being the winner of the grand prize. After that, 10 unique names will be drawn for the additional grab bag prizes. Last names will remain private upon announcement.

The grand prize winner will be notified via e-mail and this blog and must reply back to claim the prize within 48 hours. Failure to do so will result in the second name drawn being awarded the grand prize and an additional name being drawn for the last grab bag.


  • 10 bento grab bags worth $10 each (donated by myself and Susan)
  • One grand prize package worth $45 (donated by Susan)

Included in the grand prize are the following:

  • 450 ml Totoro bento box with food divider
  • 1 packet animal food dividers
  • 1 set food picks (petals, balloons, rings, bones)
  • 1 pair monkey sauce containers
  • 1 set animal sauce bottles with squirt bottle
  • 1 set mini charaben cutters
  • 1 set mini utensils
  • 1 multi-face nori punch
  • 1 set ribbon/hat/crown food picks
  • 1 packet elephant food dividers

On the back of the nori punch packaging there are ideas for the many faces you can create:


A closer shot of the smaller packets of items:


And the rest of the items:


A tempting and generous gift package, to say the least! And all it takes to have a chance to win is a $5 donation!


As we’d like the donation to go out as soon as possible, we will take donations until midnight Hawaii time on Wednesday, January 20, 2010. Donations made after the deadline will be included in the donation to the Red Cross, but will not be eligible for the drawing. Drawing will be done on Thursday or Friday following the deadline. The donation will be made to the Red Cross on that same day.


The other day, Buddy wouldn’t get into his carseat and I lost my temper and called him a “buttface”. In hindsight, that wasn’t such a good idea. Last night I heard him muttering to himself, “Butt in the FACE!”. Today I made a bento for Mr. Pikko.


This is leftover tonkatsu from Grandma J’s house that I packed for Mr. Pikko. I added the rice first, then the tonkatsu, then some garlic salt green beans, tomatoes, and carrot flowers. There would have been more tonkatsu, but Buddy kept coming by to ask for pieces to eat. It all worked out though, as there wasn’t any more room for additional pieces. I boiled the beans first, then briefly fried them in olive oil and garlic salt.

We’re all out of ikari sauce, so I made some with Worchestershire sauce and ketchup. He liked it! This is the same box I did the Korean leftovers bento in, except without the dividers.

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  • I really love the idea (retweeted your link, hoping some more people will donate.. even though I want to win the prize lol) and I hope alot of people will participate. I know I will in a moment. This is very generous of you girls πŸ™‚

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  • what a wonderful idea, thanks so much to you and susan for putting this together.

    and this box is gorgeous – the box AND the contents. i’m still loving the mandolined carrots!

  • Pingback: Haiti Fundraiser « Hawai`i's Bento Box Cookbook, Bentos and More for Kids()

  • Wonderful and generous of you both to set up this fundraiser. Many thanks for using your bento community influence to contribute.

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  • Susans and your idea of gathering money for the red cross is great. Even without the lottery πŸ˜‰ So be sure I will donate. It’s great that you use your bento reputation for helping those who need it.

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  • Jasmine McClain

    I am excited to donate and plus enter in the fun contest! I just had one question. For each separate $5 donation/entry should I add them together and charge it all at once or make separate $5 donations. Wasn’t sure what to do about that. Thanks!

  • Hi Jasmine, just one donation is preferred, thank you!

  • Haha, I’ve had that thought before! “Should I tell people or…” lol

  • The idea was totally Susan’s, she’s such a generous lady. πŸ™‚

  • Thanks Sheri! We’ve already gotten great response so far!

  • Thank you, Lil’chan!

  • My part was easy, now Pikko is doing all of the work. πŸ™‚

  • Tookl

    Thanks, already donated to YELE and Clinton Foundation, so I won’t be able to enter. Don’t suppose a receipt would do? But it’s amazing what you’re doing anyway!

  • Sara

    Thanks for organizing this Pikko and Susan! I love reading your sites, I am excited you can reach out to so many people in such a fun way. It’s amazing how much you both do!

  • Henry

    Great idea! I am so glad I can contribute! And the bento prize is an AMAZING bonus! It would certainly help this newbie! All the best to you! I’ll keep watching for inspiration.

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  • What a great idea πŸ™‚

    I’m sure you’ve gotten this multiple times, but anyway:
    I’ve passed the Happy 101 award for you. Please come on by and pick it up!

  • Thank you and Susan for organizing this wonderful drive. It’s nice of you two to put your reputations out there to encourage more people to donate! I have donated and know that I have done some good for those people effected.

  • Jen

    I love love love Totoro! He is my favorite character out of all the anime/Japanese stuff my daughter has asked me to watch. Bento are great for our homeschooling trips to various places — easily packable, easily portable, and invariably someone asks us about our boxes!

  • Evie

    Thanks for organizing this! New reader here – just wanted to stop by and tell you how much I enjoy your site.

  • Samantha Schlough

    I have been trying to find a way to donate to help with cleaning up the disaster. I was reading my usual bento blogs when BAM there’s one! Sweet deal. I could only donate $5 because of being unemployed… but I pray it will help others! I have also shared this page on my Facebook account so others can be aware of it. ^.^

    Much <3 to you and Susan!

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  • You girls are so sweet to get this organized! I just sent a little something and hope the donations continue to add up. I am just beginning my adventures in bento making and would be delighted to win all those goodies, but I am honestly much more excited about finding your blogs for inspiration and ideas!

  • This is an awesome effort by you two!
    I’ve submitted monies via the donate button here ^_^ ~

  • LeeAnn Riley

    Thank you ladies for your efforts and giving us a place to help. I have donated to my aid organization but would like to be included in the drawing as we have no bento supplies where I live. Lots of luck.

  • Shelly

    This is a wonderful idea!

  • Joanna

    What a great idea. Thanks for making an easy way for us to donate – and with such a cute incentive! I just donated. Unfortunately there was no area to make a note to thank you, so I’ve opted to leave a comment. Keep on doing what you’re doing. Love the site!

  • Vanessa

    This is a really nice idea πŸ™‚ I’ve gotten my parents to donate $20 to the Red Cross in my stead. I’ve also sent the link around a bit on Facebook, I hope some people will notice it.

  • This is a lovely idea. I recently donated $20 to the American Red Cross towards relief in Haiti. I set up a link on my facebook. We can all do our part in saving lives!

  • Bettina

    Please enter me in your contest, I gave $10 at Publix for the Haitian Releif Effort and will be donating more at the Habitat for Humanity Re-Sale store today (in the form of water)

  • Corryn

    Hi! Thanks so much for doing this. I just followed your directions and donated $10 on your site. Thanks again!

  • I would like to still be entered and do not plan to use this as a charitable donation on any paperwork. πŸ™‚ Please do not send me a refund of my ten dollars but donate it as you intend to.

  • Thanks so much for doing this! I donated to Red Cross! I love your cookbooks! Keep up the great work! πŸ™‚

  • Norine

    Love the idea of your fundraiser. And I like the background of your blog, but I’m having a really hard time reading it.

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  • Ashley

    Wonderful idea!
    I just donated $20 to Red Cross! πŸ™‚

  • SammiGene

    Just donated five dollars with your donate button here on the site! πŸ˜€ This is a great little fundraiser.

  • AmΓ©lie

    This is a great idea,thank you for organizing this! Please add me to the lottery, I’ve donated 10€ to the Belgian Red Cross because they’re building temporary hospitals in Haiti to provide immediate care for the people.

    I love tonkatsu, I might try that for my bento tomorrow.

  • SammiGene

    Oh, I forgot to ask to be added to the lottery when I commented about my donation. Please add me too. πŸ™‚

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  • Angelene Teo

    hi gurls..u both are AWESOME..
    God will bless your work and the big heart of yours to raise fund for the Haiti victims.
    Will keep u gurls in prayer…keep up the good work..spread the love of bento! It’s amazing how the presence of bento can bless the people around you and fill their lunch time with joy!

    btw, where to get nori punch??!? i’ve been searching high and low for it..they’re so cute, they can just make ur bento set looks so happy!!:)

  • Please enter me in the drawing – I donated $15 πŸ™‚ (It was at a collection site live, not via the donate button) Thanks πŸ™‚ Great idea too πŸ™‚

  • Michelle

    What a great idea!
    Please enter me in the drawing, I’ve donated $15 to Doctors Without Borders Emergency Relief Fund and $10 to Red Cross Haitian Relief Fund (through locations in my city).

    Thank you for organizing this πŸ™‚

  • De

    Great idea. I really wanted to donate to some organization but I’m just lazy. This gave me the incentive to do it. I donated $50 to the Red Cross. Thank You!

  • What a great way to give some people incentive! I will be giving $10 to the Catholic Relief Services which is holding a special drive for Catholic Haiti this Sunday at church. I wish I could give more, but every penny counts. Thank you for the motivation!

  • I am so excited that you guys are raising awareness and help for Haiti! I donated $25 through the Red Cross to the efforts. I would love to be entered in the drawing πŸ™‚

  • Madura

    I saw your video clip. It’s great that you’re doing something charitable. I’m sure it’s appreciated. And I appreciate you getting bento in the mainstream. I’m excited to get started on my own bento-making and blogging.

  • Jason

    Thank you for organizing this effort!

  • Leslie

    I am so glad that you and Susan are doing the Haiti Fundraiser. Sorry it took me so long to get the donation to you. I saw your blog today… great TV appearance!

    I hope that you do get to be in a background shot of LOST! Wouldn’t that be lovely? Okay, more like freaking fantastic! My boss, the one that turned me on to LOST, would be so jealous!

    Can’t wait to see what the final total is for the Haiti Fundraiser!

  • Julie Kumagai

    I sent the donation through your button above. Please send it on to the Red Cross as was planned.

    Thank you for all your effort!

  • Julianne Lee

    Thanks for setting this up! =)

  • Very good heart of you. Very generous. Thumbs up to that.