Health

What you can do right now to help Japan

You know, I had a fun post all lined up to write about for today. But then came the sobering and devastating news about Japan’s earthquake — one of the world’s largest ever and the worst in Japanese history — and resulting tsunami.

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You know, I had a fun post all lined up to write about for today. But then came the sobering and devastating news about Japan’s earthquake — one of the world’s largest ever and the worst in Japanese history — and resulting tsunami. The last thing I felt like writing about after that was happy news.

It makes me think back to the first Oscars after 9/11, with Tom Cruise’s monologue — muted, respectful, but still celebrating film — kicking off the definitely lower-key show. Or when Mayor Rudolph Giuliani opened Saturday Night Live for the first show after the same event — also muted and respectful, with the underlying tone that life will go on. I’m not comparing what I write here to those two events after 9/11, but I feel like what’s happened in Japan is too fresh for that approach. We’re still mourning the devastation and destruction that this earthquake caused.

Instead, I thought about what we could do here that would help us feel better, aid us in moving past this feeling of helplessness as part of the world falls apart. While we can’t be there in the devastation pitching in physically, we can make an impact in other ways. Here’s what you can do to help the people of Japan after this unthinkable event.

The Canadian Red Cross: Part of the International Red Cross organization, you can make a financial donation here or by calling toll free at 1-800-418-1111.

World Vision Canada: An aid organization, with offices worldwide, that often helps in crisis relief. Financial gifts can be given here.

OXFAM Canada: At press time, it didn’t have a specific relief fund for Japan set up. However, you can donate to its Emergency Response Fund here.

ADRA Canada: An independent humanitarian-aid agency that is also accepting financial aid.

Plan Canada: An international organization that works with children. They report that they’re monitoring the situation and have emergency response units on standby. Donations can be made here.

CRWRC (Christian Reformed World Relief Committee): Another international organization, it has a financial donation page set up here.

We’re all keeping Japan in our thoughts right now, and with relief efforts currently underway funds are desperately needed. If you’d like to help, you can donate to the Canadian Red Cross — simply text the word ASIA to 30333 to give $5. You can also give online or call 1-800-418-1111.