Wednesday, March 16, 2011
The disasters in Japan are just devastating. I'm sure everyone's seen the footage and photos, and I'm so, so sorry if you've lost loved ones or friends. I can't even imagine. I didn't want to post anything about ways to help until I was sure about the legitimacy of relief organizations, but I've found two that appealed to me the most because they seem the least likely to be stalled by political red tape.
Direct Relief is an organization that exists to provide disaster relief and health care to people all over the world. They have a really good reputation for making sure that 100% of donations go toward helping those who so desperately need it.
Japan Society is a New York-based operation that is "investigating and vetting organizations that can make the maximum impact, both in terms of immediate relief needs as well as the longer term recovery process." In addition to donation instructions, their website has a list of other ways to help, including concerts that benefit recovery efforts in Japan and ways to contact (and not to contact, since phone calls can tie up lines that need to receive emergency calls) friends and loved ones in Japan.
Even if it's something as simple as making coffee at home for a few days and donating the money that would have been spend on a morning latte, every bit of effort counts and is needed. As usual, I'm impressed with the generosity of the Etsy community, as many sellers are donating part or all of their profits, from specific items or for a certain period of time, to disaster relief funds for Japan. Here's one such Etsy treasury:
No matter how little you feel like you have, it's now incredibly evident that thousands of people have much, much less. Even though we've made up imaginary lines dividing us into countries, we're all inextricably linked by our humanity, and nobody should be alone and unsupported during this time of crisis.