You all have most likely heard about the devasting tsunami that has destroyed wide swaths of northern Japan, triggered by a massive 9.0-magnitude earthquake. Well over 1000 people have died and thousands, if not millions, of others have lost so much. Powerful aftershocks continue to rock the northern half of the country, too.
Longtime visitors of the site may remember that I lived in rural Japan for two years, teaching English on the JET Programme from July 2005 to July 2007, and some of you even know that this experience had such a strong impact on me that I'm currently doing my graduate thesis on the JET Programme. (I lived in the south, though, in Tokushima Prefecture, so everyone I know there was well out of harm's way.) Japan is my second home now--I honestly know more about it than about India, the country of my heritage and culture. As a result, this cause is particularly near and dear to my heart. Wonderfully, people are truly coming together to help keep each other going, and despite the heartbreak and loss, there are so many powerful success stories emerging from all this...but it will take a long time--years, in some cases--to rebuild. Some coastal towns were utterly wiped off the map.
If you can spare some money, can I urge you to donate whatever you can afford to this? No pressure, obviously--as a grad student, right now I can't afford a lot myself. But even if a bunch of people donate a little bit, it all will add up.
Thank you for this.
Google Crisis Response - Links to the Japanese Red Cross, Unicef, and Save the Children, along with numerous links to various resources, shelters, their Person Finder, and even information on the imposed rolling blackouts in some parts of Japan.
Global Giving - a group based out of Washington, DC that's focused on giving to developing nations, but that is turning its efforts to Japan.
A collective of NGOs in Japan that specifically address emergency situations.
Peace Winds Japan
Another Japanese NGO, focused primarily on efforts abroad, but now turning its efforts to assisting the Tohoku region.
Good Neighbors Japan
A not very well known group that has a mission of peace and brotherly goodwill for the whole world.
National AJET Relief Fund - Specifically to assist JET Programme participants in Japan who may have lost some or all of their possessions. They don't have the same support structure in Japan that they would have in their home countries.
USA JET Alumni Association Fund - By JET alumni across the US, for JET participants and the Japanese community at large. A large number of alumni mobilized to set up a fund that's representative of our own community, many of whom continue to have strong ties to Japan.