The earthquake’s aftermath

This was the first thing I saw this morning when I fired up my laptop:

Since then, I’ve seen the news accounts and the horrifying videos: Homes bouncing like rail cars, entire communities swept away by walls of water, buildings engulfed in flames.

It’s impossible to comprehend such destruction.

It’s also natural, I think, to want to help. So here are a few ways to lend a hand, courtesy of the Huffington Post:

In response to the quake, The Red Cross has already launched efforts in Japan. Visit or text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 from your phone.

Save the Children is currently organizing efforts … and donations to its Children’s Emergency Fund will support outreach.

International Medical Corps is responding to the health needs of the disaster’s victims. To donate … to its medical response, visit Also, text MED to 80888 from any mobile phone to give $10.

The Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund was launched at to garner funds that will be given to a variety of relief organizations helping victims of the earthquake.

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is sending two three-person teams to the Iwate and Miyagi prefectures in Japan. To learn more … or make a donation, visit

Other relief organizations are also sending representatives to disaster sites, including AmeriCare and Shelterbox.

MercyCorps is gathering donations for its overseas partner, Peace Winds Japan, which currently has personnel on the ground distributing emergency relief in Japan.

Along with an appeal for monetary donations, Operation USA has also announced efforts to collect bulk corporate donations of health care supplies. If you are interested in donating bulk medical items, visit

Google has also stepped up. Among other resources, they’ve created a “personfinder” site that lets you either seek or provide information about missing persons. So far, 20,500 records have been updated.

It’s strange to be sitting in my home office, warm and comfortable, knowing that so many people are suffering half a world away. But it’s also comforting to know that there’s something—however insignificant—I can do to help.

If you haven’t already, I urge you to make a donation to your favorite relief organization. Even $10 can help make a difference to someone who has lost everything.

My thoughts are with my friends in Japan tonight.


  1. I work at a Japanese bank, thankfully everyone I’ve talked to say their relatives are okay. If an 8.9 magnitude were to hit any place, Japan, with their strict building code, is best equipped to withstand it.

    • You’re so right that Japan is ahead of the game with their building codes, and thank God that all of your colleagues’ relatives are OK. I still can’t quite wrap my head around the devastation.

      • Yes, they are and good thing too. I can’t even begin to imagine what we would have been seeing if they weren’t. I can’t even look at the footage now. Today, I remembered another friend who was supposed to be stateside but I’m not sure. Hopefully he and his family are okay. Thanks for your post on how to help. Will pass it on to my Japanese friend who’s frustrated that she can’t be there and doesn’t know what to do.Thanks again,

  2. I hope you don’t mind but I shared your post with my friends at Facebook because a lot of people want to help out, and you have such a good number of links here.

    I work for a company in NY that relies upon a factory in Tokyo, and in my position I email Japan every day. We heard from our contacts there that they are all okay, which was heartening.

    Still, there are many who need help and I appreciate your posting about this so quickly, with all the links ready. You are to be commended for that.

    Thank you.

    • Lis, absolutely, I’m fine with your sharing my post! The more help we can send to Japan, the better. (Though I can’t really take credit for the links themselves … hats off to the Huffington Post for that!) Anyway, I’m very relieved to hear that your contacts in Japan are all OK. Tragedies like this always remind me of what’s important: The people we care about. Thanks a million, and take care!

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