The devastating 9.0 earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster that have recently rocked Japan has been weighing heavily on our minds and in our hearts here at PureBebe. We have been thinking about and praying for the 8,200+ people who have died, as well as the hundreds of thousands of survivors, many of whom have lost everything and are now dealing with other life-threatening issues, such as cold temperatures, food, fuel and water shortages, disease, and radiation exposure. Hundreds of thousands of people are huddled in crowded shelters, many of which are without power, and thus heat.
We are asking all of our wonderful readers to contribute, in any way you can. We have compiled a list of ways in which you can help, some of which do not involve donating cash directly. We know that everyone’s financial situation is different, and many people here back home in the U.S. are struggling to get by. That being said, giving to others, many of which are in a far worse situation than any of us in the U.S. can begin to imagine, is very much needed.
Below are a few ideas to get started.
1. Donate money to relief efforts
If you would like to donate money, we highly recommend donating to either Japan’s Red Cross Society or the American Red Cross’s relief efforts in Japan.
You can donate directly to Japan’s Red Cross via Google’s Crisis Response page. Your donation will be sent directly to Japan’s Red Cross Society and the funds will be put to use immediately.
Or alternatively, you could donate to the American Red Cross’ Japanese relief efforts by clicking here.
You can also donate to the American Red Cross by simply pushing a few buttons on your cell phone. Text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10. (Or, you can also text TSUNAMI to 20222 to donate to the Save the Children Federation, which has teams within 80 miles of the Fukushima nuclear reactor site, to meet the needs of affected children). Sprint & Verizon Wireless have waived texting fees for text donations.
If you’d like to donate to an organization other than the Red Cross, make sure to check Charity Navigator, which rates each charity according to how much, or how little, of your donated funds will be used directly for relief efforts in Japan. Also, beware of organizations that pop up in the wake of tragic events because many of them are scams.
2. Donate airline miles
The American Red Cross is accepting donated airline miles from Continental, Delta, United, and US Airways airlines to fly relief volunteers and staff to disaster areas. American Airlines is also offering bonus miles to members of its AAdvantage rewards program when they donate to the Red Cross. Through April 15, 2011, AAdvantage members can earn a one-time award of 250 AAdvantage bonus miles for a minimum $50 donation, or 500 AAdvantage bonus miles for a donation of $100 or more to the American Red Cross.
3. Spread the word!
Encourage others to help with the relief efforts by copying donation information, and/or this article, to your Facebook page and Twitter feed.
-What disaster relief organization do you prefer to support?
About the American Red Cross (from the American Red Cross site):
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org.
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