By the time you read this, it will have been well over three months since the devastating tsunami hit Japan’s far east coast. Nonetheless, relief efforts are still needed. Natural disasters of this magnitude take years and billions of dollars to rebuild what some once called home.

On March 10, 2011, Japanese members of Relaxed Atmosphere, No Regrets, and others were on a 10-hour flight heading for the Forbidden Fantasy show in Southern California and were completely unaware of the 9.0 quake that hit their native coast. Once our friends finally landed on U.S. soil, they were greeted with televised newscasts of a tsunami that was within striking distance of their backyard.

Within the following week, our Japanese friends finally made it back to their homeland, some to find their homes in one piece, and others to find only pieces of theirs. As word spread over the Internet of the devastation, more and more members of our community wanted to help our Japanese friends. Ernie Macias, along with his colleague and friend, Brent Vann, joined forces and organized a fundraising event to assist those affected by the disaster.

Most know Ernie from reading his rants in these very pages (Mind of Macias), some know him as the founder of No Regrets, but the side that most people don’t see is his ambition to help others in need when needed most. Ernie now works as shop manager at Tattoo Revolution in Redlands, California. Tattoo shop owner and former minitrucker, Brent Vann had a chance to visit Japan with Ernie late last year and had a chance to meet a few of the minitruckers over there. They made a huge impact on Brent with their friendliness and willingness to help show them around while in Japan. Brent came up with the idea of throwing a fundraiser at the tattoo shop that would offer $100 tattoos and a free BBQ provided by shop co-owner Aaron Funk. Word of the relief effort spread fast over Facebook, and the phones were ringing off the hook with people looking to do their part by reserving seat time.

Tattoo Revolution was almost filled to capacity with generous people looking to help. Overall, the shop buzzed up 24 people, and others just stopped by to donate their hard-earned bills without even getting inked. Thank you to all who helped raise $3,200 for our friends.

We want to thank Tattoo Revolution for hosting this event, Ernie Macias for organizing it, and artists Brent Vann, Aaron Funk, Marc Jackson, and Eric Olquin for their amazing work. Find out how you can help at www.redcross.org.

Tattoo Revolution
724 Tennessee Blvd.
Redlands, CA 92373
(909) 793-6661