Childhelp Founders | “Greatest Women of the Day”

 

Childhelp Founders

Protecting Children, Decades After A Chance Encounter

This post is part of Huffington Post's month-long series featuring Greatest Women of the Day, in recognition of Women's History Month.

Sara O'Meara and Yvonne Fedderson met on the set of 1950s sitcom "The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet" and were entertaining U.S. soldiers in Japan in 1959, when a typhoon changed everything.

Stir crazy after being stuck in a hotel room in Tokyo for days, the two ventured out in the storm with just their camel hair coats for protection, and made a startling discovery.

"We found 11 children huddled together to fend off the cold, their knuckles were cracked and bleeding from the cold," said Sara, now 76. "We couldn't understand anything they were saying, but we did understand "no mama-san, no papa-san."

Sara and Yvonne, now 75, snuck all 11 orphaned children back up to their hotel room, bribing the hotel's maids with cashmere sweaters to keep them quiet. The children, they later found out, had been turned out of orphanages because they were half-American.

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