Japan was the first disaster I made a donation for this year. Somehow New Zealand completely slipped my mind. Perhaps because it wasn’t in the news much.
As usual, I made my donation to the Red Cross’s disaster-specific fund. They will use the funds for the response to the earthquake, except in the rare case where they receive more than they need. If that’s the case, they’ll apply it to the next disaster.
You can text a Red Cross donation to 90999 and the $10 charge will appear on your phone bill. I prefer to give more, so I visited the Red Cross website. I had to make an extra click to reach the donation selection page. You can also donate through their Facebook page, your iTunes account, or on Amazon.
Initially, Doctors without Borders was not involved in the crisis, but they now have people on the ground operating small clinics in the hardest-hit area. At this time, they’re not taking Japan-specific donations, but you can always donate to this worthy cause in support of their ongoing campaigns for international health crises.
Facebook provides links to several organizations through Network for Good.
It’s easy to think that a wealthy nation like Japan doesn’t need our help, but no nation is fully prepared for a disaster of this scale. These non-profit organizations often provide the short-term food, shelter, and medical needs that local police and rescue personnel can’t supply.
When donating, please give cash rather than goods. It’s much cheaper and more efficient for these organizations to buy their own food, blankets, and other supplies, often from suppliers close to the disaster region. Blankets and food collected here would have to be shipped at great expense and may not arrive in time to serve immediate needs.
On a personal note, anyone who lives in a disaster region should once again take this opportunity to check batteries and restock food, water, and pet supplies. If you have a car, keep a little food and a pair of walking shoes and socks in the trunk. I heard a newscaster say, “You hear about this, but you never expect it to happen.” To that I say, yes, you do if you live in a disaster-prone region. If you don’t, you should. Be prepared.