The devastation Japan is currently facing after last week's 8.9-magnitude earthquake is unimaginable for many of us who sit thousands of miles away, feeling helpless as we watch the videos and read the stories coming out of the crippled country.
But just because we can't be there helping physically doesn't mean there is nothing to be done. There are ways to help even from your own living room.
The disaster has affected a 1,200-mile north-south stretch of Japan and official reports are now claiming that more than 10,000 people are dead or missing. The facts are terrifying and leave many of us with the desire to help and no way to do so.
The Salvation Army in Japan currently has three emergency service relief teams operating in areas devastated by the earthquake and tsunami. One of the teams is assisting people who have been evacuated from areas affected by a potential nuclear disaster.
According to the Salvation Army, there are no reports of any loss of Salvation Army personnel or damage to corps/church buildings. In order to donate to the Salvation Army, call 1-800-SAL-ARMY, donate online at www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org, or send a check marked “Japan earthquake relief” to:
The Salvation Army World Service Office
International Relief Fund
PO Box 630728
Baltimore, MD 21263-072800
You can also text the words "Japan" or "Quake" to 80888.
Of course, there are other ways to help, too. Here are five more ways you can help:
- The Red Cross: Visit RedCross.org or text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 from your phone.
- Doctors Without Borders: Doctors Without Borders is sending six people to the Iwate and Miyagi prefectures in Japan. To learn more about the organization’s efforts or make a donation, visit DoctorsWithoutBorders.org.
- Global Giving: Visit the website to give a donation that will be used to provide relief and emergency services to victims of the earthquake and tsunami. Global Giving is working with International Medical Corps, Save the Children, and other organizations on the ground.
- Wristbands: Lady Gaga has designed wristbands for Japanese tsunami relief. "Pray for Japan" is written in red across the white rubber wristband, accompanied by small little monster paws. The bracelets cost $5 apiece, and all proceeds go directly to the Red Cross.
- Animals: Obviously countless animals and pets have also been affected by the disaster. You can also help them in various ways by making donations. Conscious Cat has a number of different organizations committed to helping the animals of Japan.
We can't all go to Japan and help with our hands, but we can at least send our love and spirit by making donations in order to help them recover from this unimaginable tragedy.
Where are you donating?
Image via NASA Goddard Photo and Video/Flickr