By now we all know the extent of the devastation last Friday’s 9.0 earthquake and the ensuing tsunamis brought to Japan’s eastern seaboard. I am ever-thankful that my host family and friends in Tokyo, and those I know throughout Japan are all alive and well, as are their friends and family. I’m still worried about the loved ones of a few state-side friends, and until I hear from them, I’ll keep praying their families are safe.
I’m tied in knots by the fact that I can’t be in Japan to help, and completely frustrated that I would only complicate things by trying to join a rescue/rebuild operation at this point. So Justin and I have done the only (and most effective) thing we can do in this situation: DONATE. We chose to give money to ShelterBox, an international disaster relief charity that delivers emergency shelter, warmth and dignity to people affected by disaster worldwide. ShelterBox was one of THE first organizations asked by Japan to help and were on hand on the Saturday after the quake. Each large, green ShelterBox is tailored to a disaster but typically contains a disaster relief tent for ten people, blankets, water storage and purification equipment, cooking utensils, a stove, a basic tool kit, a children’s activity pack and other vital items.
I recently read about For Japan With Love, an informal group of bloggers rallying to raise funds to help ShelterBox aid more Japanese families. Please consider joining me this Friday for a Blogger’s Day of Silence and taking the time you would use to blog to go to the ShelterBox website and donate. The weather is bitter cold in Japan this time of year, and emergency shelter is essential for those displaced by the tsunamis. Each ShelterBox is $1,000, so by donating even a small amount, you are helping a group of ten or more Japanese people to find shelter and safety.
If you feel more comfortable donating to the Red Cross, you can make sure your donation to them is used for disaster relief in Japan by donating directly to the Japanese Red Cross. If you really have no money to spare, make an appointment to donate blood locally, and/or sign up for the National Marrow Donor Program. They’re both free, and save lives every day.
Thank you to the folks behind For Japan With Love for organizing this little rally. Please, please, do whatever you can to help. My heart goes out to everyone in Japan affected by this tragedy. May peace always be with you.