Japan Earthquake Relief & Assistance

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You’ve no doubt heard the awful news about the massive earthquake in northern Japan.

I know a few people in Tokyo. I haven’t heard back from them yet. I really hope they’re safe. I also know that I have a lot of readers from Japan — which is where I was living when I first started this site. Please get in touch and let me know that you’re okay.

If you’d like to help out with the relief fund, I personally recommend: Global Giving. The philosophy underpining this organisation is, I believe, solid. It has ties to the World Bank, having been set up by two former employees — and I have little time for the World Bank. Nevertheless, I believe this is a good choice. They have a good approach, an excellent track-record, and a good third-party assessed accountability rating.

It’s a very smooth process and you can donate via credit card or using your PayPal account. You also have the option to elect 100% of your donation go to on-the-ground relief. Or you can add 15% extra to help with the running of the whole organisation. Up to you.

Obviously you may have your own preferred relief organisation. Or you might just be too strapped for cash right now (please don’t feel that I’m trying to pressure you; I understand how it is and you can’t donate to everything. I’m trying to influence, not pressure you).

Other real-time updates, crisis line numbers, a "person finder" tool, local transport and blackout info, maps, and a way to donate directly to the Japanese Red Cross Society using GoogleCheckout can all be found on this page put up by Google.

And, finally, this page over at About.com also lists some other, unusual, ways to lend some financial assistance.

I’m fortunate enough to have never experienced an earthquake (just a single violent but quick jolt in the middle of class one time), flood, bushfire, or any other natural disaster. And I can’t begin to imagine how awful it would be to have your entire home just disappear in a flash.

Horrendous stuff.


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