We’re closing in on one week since the 9.0 earthquake, tsunami and the ongoing nuclear power plant degradation devastated Japan. As the days passed, the Causes staff worked diligently with nonprofits and cause creators to help them both get the word out and raise funds for the Japanese relief efforts.
Personally, the news coming out of Japan (not to mention Libya) has been really difficult for me to continue to process and at times it’s almost been too much. I’ve basically stopped watching videos of the destruction and there’s no way I’m watching that video of the two dogs in Japan that’s been circulating. I just can’t take it. Regardless of my difficulties processing the news, the truth is that the situation in Japan is horrific and I’m lucky to be sitting here with internet access, clean clothes, a home, my friends and family and plenty of food. I’m grateful.
Right now, I’m sitting in a cafe in Washington, DC getting ready to present at the Nonprofit Technology Conference tomorrow. On the flight over from San Francisco yesterday I watched a TED talk by Beverly and Dereck Joubert called “Life lessons from big cats” about the work they do in Africa with big cats. The talk itself was pretty interesting, and certainly the images were beautiful. But, there was one scene that was really uncomfortable to watch – they showed video of an elephant under attack by a handful of lions. I sat there in shock trying to decide if I should keep watching since, as I mentioned, I’m about full up on tragic images right now. I kept watching because the talk hadn’t included images of the destructive force of nature so I figured there had to be a reason they were showing this. Then, just as the elephant dropped to her knees with 3 or 4 lions on her back, Derick Joubert began talking about seeing the will to live both drain out of her eyes and then return. She stood up, shook the lions off and ran for her life. She survived:
After watching the video I thought about Japan, about some of the images I’ve seen of survivors and what they’re doing to clean up, help each other and begin rebuilding their country. First, they ran for their lives and now they’re coming together as a community to support one another. The stories of the survivors whose will to live and recover inspire me as do the stories of people around the world who have come together to help in any way they can. In the midst of every human tragedy, survivors inspire as they stand up and begin the process of rebuilding their lives. These are the people who so desperately need our help.
And this video about a woman who escaped the tsunami by bike:
But, what more can we do to help Japan?
Most of us are not in the position to be of help on the ground in Japan right now. Either we don’t have the necessary skills or can’t make it over there for any number of reasons. That’s ok. I’m lucky enough to work here at Causes where my daily grind is in support of people who want to change the world and have been working on providing as much help to Japan as possible.
We’ve been posting about some of the nonprofits that have pledged to support Japan both in direct relief and for long term support.
Here are a couple organizations we’ve been in close contact with regarding their efforts:
The Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California (JCCCNC) has established a fund to help the victims of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan on March 11, 2011. Your donations will go directly towards citizen relief efforts in the most affected areas.
The Salesforce.com Foundation has partnered with The Miner Foundation to offer a $100,000 matching grant for donations made to The Red Cross through their cause. Every dollar you donate will be matched through this cause. For example, your $25 donation will be matched dollar for dollar making your total contribution $50.
Below are a few more fundraising projects for Japan relief efforts:
REAL MEDICINE FOUNDATION: RMF was founded in 2005 in response to the Asian Tsunami relief efforts. We’re working to see where our funding, resources and expertise will be most effective to those most affected in Japan.
Save the Children has sent response workers to Japan to assess and respond to the needs of families and children there.
Shelter Box has a team enroute to Japan now to provide support on the ground.
Oxfam America is working to identify partners to assist people who are suffering in the Pacific tsunami disaster and whose voices may not otherwise be heard.
The American Red Cross is working with their Japanese partners to provide emergency disaster relief services in Japan.