Online Offering: Send Aid to Japan Using Social Media

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Residents are evacuated from the Fukushima nuclear facilities damaged in Friday's massive earthquake

Wally Santana / AP

Here’s how you can help out without going AFK.

With the Japanese relief effort well underway, many of our favorite – and most used – websites have made it simpler than ever to donate money to the victims. Your grandma’s on Facebook, right? Tell her to put away that checkbook, because with just a few clicks, she’ll be able to contribute to the rescue mission.

Don’t get us wrong, texting your donation is still an option – and a very good one at that. Just as we did for Haiti, you can text “REDCROSS” to 90999 to donate $10 to the Red Cross’s efforts. The Salvation Army has a similar system in place, and by texting “Japan” to 80888, you’ll give $10 to them.

(More on See photos of Japan’s devastation)

But you may not even have to reach for your phone. What’s more, you don’t even have to close down FarmVille (we know what you’re doing on this lazy Sunday afternoon!). Zynga, creator of FarmVille and its spawn like Café World and CityVille, has built in special purchases to the game that contribute to the Japanese relief effort.

Now NewsFeed has no plans to ever log on to FarmVille, so we cannot confirm this, but ABC News reports that in FarmVille, farmers can buy a daikon radish crop; in Café World, chefs can purchase Japanese décor for their restaurants, and all money spent will go to Save the Children.

Facebook apps in general are helping to spread the word about the relief effort, allowing charities to post updates of their work in Japan. Some, like the Red Cross, accept donations right from their fan page.

(More on See six other ways to give aid to Japan)

Groupon’s glorious deals keep us coming back daily. And now that they’ve partnered with the International Medical Corps, we get that warm, fuzzy feeling inside. Granted, this is not a typical deal from the coupon masters because you’re not saving any cash, but they do note “the only discount you may receive is 100% off free, priceless karma.” Perhaps it’s the best deal ever?

Whatever your website of choice happens to be, chances are high there’s a donation option inside.