Image after image, a new horror every few hours, the past few days have been horrific for the people of Japan, yet for every image of despair and horror, we’ve seen an image of calm, hope and even grace. Yes, despite the devastation the people of Japan remain polite, orderly, and eerily calm. Keep in mind this is a culture that doesn’t have a word for looting. The people of Japan have shown that life goes on, must go on, and goes on better with calm and respect. Their constant illustration of this concept is more heart-wrenching to me than the destruction and loss. To face this,
yet face evacuation and loss with calm and even a sense of relief for the moment,
while still waiting patiently in a line for food, leaves me at a loss.
I saw a segment on CNN about people waiting in lines that stretch for miles for 10 items of food each. Patience, calm, and a realization that this waiting was a necessity seemed prevalent. I am amazed and can’t help but think of Hurricane Katrina and the societal destruction that occurred within hours after Katrina hit. I truly cannot imagine any facet of American society remaining stoic and calm in the face of such loss.
I want to help and I want to make sure my dollars go as far as possible. During Haiti’s earthquake over a year ago, I did research into different organizations. Here are a few that are active in Japan and have the smallest administrative fees per donation, a donation to any one of them will send aid where it is needed most.
- World Vision is a humanitarian group who’s focus is largely on children and their families. They are sending aid in the form of food, water, medical supplies, and shelter immediately. They are also sending personnel to establish safe areas for children to resume some normal activities: play, learning, structure and a feeling of security. Click on the link for a direct route to their Japanese relief section or text “4japan” to 20222 to send a $10 donation. Donations such as these show up on your next cell phone bill.
- The Salvation Army already has a presence in Japan and immediately rushed aid workers to Sendai, one of Japan’s most devastated cities. They also opened their main building to house and feed commuters separated from their families. They are providing, food, water, medical supplies, shelter, etc. You can donate at their website, at your local Salvation Army location or by texting “japan” or “quake” to 80888 for a $10 donation.
- AmeriCares provides global medical assistance and has launched an emergency disaster expert and team to Japan. They will provide medical supplies, medicine, and medical care to Japan. Donations are accepted on their website.
- International Medical Corps also provides medical care and even medical training as necessary. They are on their way and accepting donations on their website or by texting “med” to 80888 for a $10 donation.