A devastating tragedy occurred in Japan on Friday when a monstrous 8.9-magnitude quake hit, causing a 10 meter (33 foot) tsunami to engulf the northeastern coast of the country. There are reports of over 1,000 people who have lost their lives, tens of thousands evacuated, and massive damage. Whether you have a lot or a little to give, here are five ways you can aid in the relief effort this very moment, without even leaving your couch.
Lady Gaga was extremely quick to respond to the tragedy. As early as Friday afternoon, she tweeted: "I Designed a Japan Prayer Bracelet. Buy It/Donate here and ALL proceeds will go to Tsunami Relief Efforts. Go Monster." The rubber band bracelet states "We Pray for Japan" in both English and Japanese, along with an image of her signature monster paw. The bracelet is $5 and will ship out March 25th. Pre-order now.
For a simple and quick donation, just text Red Cross: "People can make a $10 donation by texting REDCROSS to 90999. Their donation will go to support relief efforts for the earthquake in Japan and tsunami throughout the Pacific." The $10 donation will be automatically billed to your cell phone statement.
You can also use their donation form to give a larger amount.
Yesterday, South By Southwest Interactive Festival director Hugh Forrest announced SXSW4Japan, a site where conference attendees are asked to donate a cumulative total of at least $10,000 for disaster relief efforts. You do not need to be a SXSW attendee to participate. Here are three ways you can join in:
- DONATE - Click on the general donation button in the upper right hand corner of the page or text your donation to 90999.
- SHARE - On the web; On Twitter; Mention it in your SXSW talks with #sxswcares and #sxsw4japan.
- CREATE A FUNDRAISING PAGE - Use the SXSW platform to create your own personalized fundraising page, where you can ask family and friends to contribute. Read tips for it here.
All proceeds go to the American Red Cross.
The Salvation Army in Tokyo immediately mobilized an effort in Sendai, reportedly the most damaged city in the region, to provide victims with food, water and other necessities. They are also providing aid in Tokyo: "Because the whole public transport shut down and stranded many commuters, The Salvation Army opened a section of their Territorial Headquarters building for those who could not get home."
The above options are all quick and easy, but there are many more mobilized charities to choose from. Google posted this helpful list of organizations, all of which are prepared to accept donations now.
- Action Against Hunger
- American Jewish World Service
- Asia Foundation
- BAPS Care International
- Direct Relief International
- Habitat for Humanity International
- International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent
- Islamic Relief Worldwide
- Karuna Trust
- Network for Good
- Oxfam International (US page)
- Quarters From Kids: Tsunami Relief and Rebuilding
- Save the Children
- UNICEF (US page) (via Paypal)
- World Food Programme (UN)
- World Vision
If you know of any other organizations or ways to help, please comment below.