Thursday, March 17, 2011

DO SOMETHING: Japan Disaster Relief

Be sure to buy a similar poster to this one for $10 at Etsy Shop NanLawson

Unless you are an insensitive a-hole (serious side eye to YOU, Glenn Beck... What, are you and Pat Robertson taking turns?!?!?), you cannot look at the startling images of the devastation in Japan without feeling for the people there, as well as the many Japanese-Americans here hoping and praying that their families are okay.

You can lend a helping hand to the people of Japan by donating to any number of the following organizations (Special Shout Out to Bust Magazine for providing this list):

* The Happy Hearts Fund was started by model Petra Nemacova after she survived the 2004 Indian tsunami. It’s not a first response fund, but helps rebuild communities after disasters. It’s administrative members are underwritten by the board, meaning that 100% of its funds go towards relief.

* ShelterBox provides shelter for displaced and evacuated persons. Reports are estimating that over 250,000 people have been made homeless by the disaster.

* Oxfam Japan helps fight poverty and social justice in Japan. It’s important to remember that in a disaster situation, it is often the region’s poorest who are hardest hit. Visit their website to make a secure donation.

* Lady Gaga has created white “we pray for japan” bracelets. They can be purchased for 5 bucks with all proceeds going to relief efforts in Japan.

* Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is sending two three-person teams to some of the hardest hit areas of Japan, the Iwate and Miyagi prefectures along the coast. To learn more about the organization's efforts or make a donation, visit

* Salvation Army personnel are organizing efforts in Tokyo and will soon send a team to help the severely damaged city of Sendai, Japan. To contribute to earthquake relief, text 'JAPAN' or 'QUAKE' to 80888 to make a $10 donation or visit

* Action Against Hunger and ACF International have provided relief efforts in Japan as well as preventive measures in the Philippines' province of Cuatuadnes. Thanks to alert systems the organization set up in the area, they were able to help 45,00 at-risk persons evacuate and prevent a much larger disaster. Their relief efforts are on-going.

* The Red Cross has begun relief efforts. To donate, you can visit their website or text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 from your phone. A word of caution, however, when you text a donation 5-10% of your donation goes to mGive as an administrative fee. The best way to donate is through the organization's secure website, or using a good old fashion cheque.

* Save the Children is accepting donations for its Children’s Emergency Fund.

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