Students Quickly Mobilize to Help Japan

By now, you’ve probably already heard of the catastrophic earthquakes that hit Japan on March 11.  The 9.0 earthquake and the resulting tsunami caused infrastructure damages estimated in the ten of billions of dollars. As of this writing, almost 6000 people are proclaimed dead as a result of the disaster, but many agree that the final death toll will be much higher.

Japan Eathquake

In the wake of bad news coming out of Japan, many humanitarian organizations are preparing to help. Donations from Canadians are pouring in. Many corporations and celebrities have also already pledged millions of dollars to help the nation recover.

Many students are also preparing to help. In addition to donating to organizations, students in different universities have organized various events to raise funds for the relief efforts.  We highlight two upcoming student-organized events below.

Japan Relief Fundraiser– Uniting Communities across the Pacific (JRF)

JRF is a fundraiser organized by a couple of SFU students & graduates who have been personally affected by the disaster in Japan.  This group of students wanted to get involved besides just donating passively.

Japan Relief Fundraiser

According to its Facebook page:

Our goal is to take this sentiment of being ACTIVE and fostering a movement in the local community to raise awareness and funds for the victims in Japan. We are using this event as a platform for diverse individuals to spread their knowledge, stories, hopes and initiatives to Japan.

Interested in supporting the event?  Here are the details:

Saturday, April 2, 2011
Shiang Garden in Richmond
Formal Attire
First 50 tickets $45; the remaining 250 tickets $60

All proceeds will go to the Canadian Red Cross to help Japan. To buy your ticket, go to:

Unite For Japan

Unite For Japan“Unite For Japan” is a fundraiser initiative organized by four UBC 4th year students. The goal is to raise money and awareness for the tsunami and the consequences its had on Japan.  The event aims to bring the local community together in supporting those that need it most right now.

This fundraiser is happening soon:

Saturday, March 19, 2011
7:00 PM – 9:30 PM (PT)
Post Modern (7 Alexander Street, Vancouver)

Entertainment for the night includes three local DJs and a photobooth sponsored by FaceboxMedia.

Find more information through the Unite for Japan Facebook page or purchase your ticket through Eventbrite.

Looking for Other Ways to Help?

I realize that both of these events are timed just before the finals, so many of you might be pressed for time. If you’re looking for other ways to help, there are plenty – please check out Amanda’s article on how to donate.

Also, I encourage you to be careful and make sure that your donations go where you want them to.  Here are a few ideas:

- Ask for proof of identification if you’re giving to  door-to-door canvassers
- Check the organization’s website before giving
- Check the Canada Revenue Agency if you’d like to make sure that the charity is registered

The images coming out Japan are discouraging, but the world is definitely coming to its aid. Let’s all pitch in to help a nation in need!

By Kelvin Claveria

Photo credits:, Japan Relief Fundraiser, Unite for Japan