Japan Crisis: How You Can Help

japanese-child.jpgAs the people of Japan attempt to put their lives back together after a devastating earthquake and tsunami ravaged their coastal towns and villages, individuals across our nation – some as young as five years old – have been doing amazing things to help raise funds to support the families whose lives were forever impacted by this natural disaster. What scares me the most as a parent is the news report about 30 school children whose parents never returned to pick them up – it is suspected they were wiped away by the tsunami.
Take a look at this CBS News report of children across our country pitching in to help the relief effort.

Even celebrities are doing their part to help raise funds for the people of Japan with Lady Gaga raising over $250,000 in 48 hours. Gaga is selling red and white wrist bands that say “We Pray For Japan” that are $5 each. And over at one of my favorite shows, “American Idol” – if you download the songs performed on this week’s show, all of the proceeds will be donated to the relief effort in Japan.
So what can you do to help? Here are five ways to help families in Japan recover from this unimaginable disaster:
1. Donate to the American Red Cross relief fund for Japan or text REDCROSS to 90999 to give $10.
2. Help Japan’s pets! Thousands of dogs have been abandoned and are in need of help. See this video below of a dog who refused to leave its injured canine friend behind. If you’d like to support the pet relief effort, donate to ARK (Animal Rescue in Kansai)
that will be working to rescue homeless pets in Japan.

3. Support Global Giving – an agency helping other groups in Japan with emergency relief. To donate, go to globalgiving.org or text JAPAN50555 to make a $10 donation.
4. Donate to Save the Children’s “Japan Earthquake Tsunami Children in Emergency Fund” at savethechildren.org or by calling 1-800-728-3843. You can also text “JAPAN” to 20222 to donate $10.
5. The International Medical Corps is sending an emergency response team to Japan. To donate to this organization, visit internationalmedicalcorps.org or text MED8088 to make a $10 donation. A 24-hour phone line will also be accepting donations: 1-800-481-4462.
If you have a story to share about how your family is pitching in to help the people of Japan, comment now.