Bringing Back Light to Land of the Rising Sun

I turn on the news, and the images of a nation struggling with the horrendous aftermath of Friday’s 9 magnitude earthquake, a devastating tsunami, and now radiation fears are so powerful and poignant, that I just can’t seem to tear my eyes away. The debris-littered northeastern coast of Japan looks like a massive archaeological dig site – reminders of past civilizations.

As I continue to follow the news and watch the rescue workers comb through the rubble for survivors, I feel helpless. But then I realize that in a county’s greatest time of need, there is no such thing as an insignificant contribution and that we too, as individuals, can help make a difference:

o   The Red Cross: Canadians can donate online, by calling toll-free at 1-800-418-1111, or by visiting their local Red Cross office or one of the participating bank branches.

o   Doctors Without Borders: Donations can be made online.

o   Save the Children: Donations can be made online.

o   GlobalGiving.org: Donations can be made online.

o   World Vision: Donations can be made online or by texting ‘4JAPAN’ to ‘20222’ to give a $10 donation.

o   International Medical Corps: Donations can be made online or by texting ‘MED’ to ‘80888’ to give a $10 donation.

o   Peace Winds Japan: Donations can be made online.

o   Zynga will donate 100% of the proceeds from the purchase of sweet potatoes in CityVille, radishes in FarmVille, or kobe cows in FrontierVille to Save the Children’s Japan Earthquake Tsunami Emergency Fund.

o   Sign up at the Hello Bar with the invite code “helpjapan” and you can get a customizable code to embed into your website to encourage your readers to get involved in the relief efforts.

o   Twitter blogged some hashtags users can use to help identify their tweets in support of Japan:

#Jishin: focuses around general earthquake information

#Anpi: a hashtag for the confirmation of the safety of individuals or places

#Hinan: evacuation information

#311care: a hashtag regarding medical information for the victims

#PrayforJapan: a general hashtag for support and best wishes for victims of the crisis

o   Explore.org is donating $1 for every “Like” of the “Dog Bless You” Facebook page, up to $100,000, to the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation, who has a dog rescue team in Japan.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, as there are many other ways that you can aid the relief efforts in Japan. And although we are far from the land of the rising sun, we are never too far to offer our assistance and well wishes. How are you going to help?

By Amanda Chen