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 (MSF): 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. While MSF doesn’t have a specific Japan relief fund (we mistakenly reported that they did) you can donate unrestricted funds to support all of the organization’s efforts. Donations can be made 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. Find a person or offer information about a person here.
UPDATE: NewsFeed has been hearing of more organizations that are leading the way in helping the victims in Japan, so we’ll be updating this list as they come in. If you know of other groups that are doing great work and need help with donations, aid or volunteers, please let us know.