By now everyone has heard about the massive 9.0 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami that hit Japan yesterday (our time).
Charities that are mobilizing to help:
- Direct Relief International (Donate, this organization allows you to specifically earmark Japan and is also a four star charity)
- Mercy Corps is working with their partner, Peace Winds Japan
Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that Lady Gaga is selling We Pray for Japan Wristbands where the proceeds go to Japan relief efforts. You can also make a purchase of 38 songs by different artists where the proceeds will go to the Japanese Red Cross. For World of Warcraft players, you can purchase an in-game pet for $10 where all $10 will be donated to the Red Cross.
In the text messaging front:
- Salvation Army: Text JAPAN or QUAKE to 80888 to make a $10 donation.
- Though it cannot be designated, you can also text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 to the Red Cross. You can also donate through the iTunes store.
- Forbes has a list of other charities that are accepting cell phone text donations.
Avoid charity scams or those who are setting up a charity for the first time. Your best bet is to donate to an organization (or through someone to an organization) that has experience with charity work. You can check Charity Navigator’s Japan Earthquake and Tsunami: How To Help page for information on additional specific charities.
If you are attempting to find information on a loved one in Japan and can’t directly get in touch with them, the Google Person Finder is a good place to start.