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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

How can i help the victims of Japan?

The first thing on most people's mind after hearing the news of a disaster like the earthquake in Japan is, What can I do to help?


Even if you're thousands of miles away, there are ways that you can offer support to the earthquake and tsunami relief effort in Japan. Here are a few of them:



Red Cross: The Japanese Red Cross has already deployed 11 disaster-response teams, but you can support the organization by donating money. Similar to its efforts in the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake, the Red Cross is accepting donations online or via text message. Text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 from your phone (you'll be prompted to confirm with a second text reading YES).


ShelterBox: The U.K.-based organization, with 18 international affiliates, has launched an online fundraiser for the Japan relief effort. ShelterBox provides assistance to afflicted countries by delivering large utility boxes that contain a shelter and other emergency-relief tools. To give, go to your country's page and click "Donate."

International Medical Corps: To give to this global nonprofit's emergency-response fund, go to its site, fill in your information and select the amount you wish to donate (be sure to note if you want your donation to be a "recurring gift" for future relief efforts).


GlobalGiving: Working with other organizations like the International Medical Corps, GlobalGiving, a Washington, D.C.-based group, has launched a Japan relief fund that will give aid to on-the-ground organizations providing emergency services. It is accepting donations online, with a funding goal of $90, 000.


Convoy of Hope: This nonprofit focuses on disaster-relief efforts. Donate online or via phone by texting TSUNAMI to 50555 (you'll be prompted to confirm with a follow-up text of YES).


Salvation Army: The Japan branch of the Salvation Army has been working in Tokyo to offer shelter to stranded commuters, and it reportedly organized a team to help in Sendai. It also has a Hawaii branch standing by, ready to assist. Donate online or by texting JAPAN or QUAKE to 80888 to make a $10 donation.


Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières: This medical nonprofit expanded its team in Japan in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami and has groups working in mobile clinics in areas that are inaccessible by road due to damage. Donate to its Japan relief fund online.

Google's Person Finder: The search giant has launched a Japanese version of its Person Finder tool so that victims and families can locate one another in the aftermath of the disaster.

Play facebook games: In a unique initiative, eight online games on Facebook are raising funds for the victims of the earthquake and tsunami-hit island nation. The initiative is a result of partnership between NGO Save the Children and Zynga, a social network game developer. Games like Cityville and Farmville are raising funds by offering special crops to its players. The players can pay through credit cards and the entire proceeds would go to the Japan Earthquake Tsunami Children's Emergency Fund.




ECFA (Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability): has created a link on its homepage for givers to connect with member organizations already assisting or poised to assist in massive relief efforts there. Through its "ServantMatch," donors can identify accredited organizations working to bring aid to the disaster area.

Lady gaga (we pray for Japan bracelet): Lady Gaga designed a Japan Prayer Bracelet. If you buy It ALL proceeds will go to Tsunami Relief Efforts. The bracelet -- a rubber band -- features the phrase "We Pray for Japan" written in both English and Japanese, along with Lady Gaga’s famous monster paw. The Lady Gaga Japan bracelet -- available for $5 via her official website -- won’t be ready to ship until March 25. You can preorder now to receive yours right after it goes on sale.


As you can see there are many ways to help and give our thoughts to the victims of japan. Before you start donating, though, make sure that you're donating to a legit nonprofit organization. If you're unsure about a charity, you can look it up on a watchdog site such as Charity Watch. Be wary of charities you've never heard of or organizations that contact you directly to get you to donate via text. Stick to the big-name charities, and you should be okay.


If you have more ideas please share them with us!