You Can Help Japan

| 3/21/2011 2:59:04 PM

cherry blossoms Japan 

Many of us feel paralyzed in the aftermath of Japan’s catastrophic earthquake and tsunami. As the number of dead or missing nears 22,000, the fate of the country’s nuclear reactors remains grave, and widespread images make the March 11 disaster agonizingly real, the magnitude of the event is positively crippling.

The folks at Good aim to shake us out of our stupor, pointing us toward simple ways to help Japan. Included in their list, updated regularly, are links to a variety of relief organizations, from respected mainstays like the Red Cross and Salvation Army to innovative groups such as Mercy Corps, ShelterBox, and Global Giving.

Good also provides a slideshow of posters, t-shirts, photographs, and more items that you can purchase to support Japan. For more philanthropic swag, check out Etsy, where you can buy handmade goods from artists and craftspeople who are donating a portion of their profits to Japan.

At a local level, Second Harvest Japan, the country’s national food bank, is working to get necessities like food, water, and medical supplies to those affected by the disaster. They request monetary donations from people outside of Japan, which help buy the basics or fund delivery to disaster areas. Second Harvest says, “For every 1,000 yen donated, we deliver 10,000 yen worth of food to the needy.”

A massive disaster requires massive response, and online giving makes it easy. But Good reminds us, “After the initial disaster relief, and the initial spike in donations, there will still be a lot of work to be done.”

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