Japan earthquake relief: how you can help

By now, footage is ubiquitous of the 8.9 Sendai earthquake and the catastrophic tsunami that followed on Japan’s Pacific coast last week. The damage is surreal: huge boats are turned sideways; cars are piled on top of each other; houses are swept right off their foundations into piles of wood scraps. 6,000 have been confirmed dead or missing, and that number is expected to rise drastically in the coming weeks. Thousands of others are without shelter, food and electricity, and rising radiation levels are pointing to a nuclear crisis.

One of the many things to love about our dear old school is that it’s home to a community of activists, but with an event of this massive scale, it can get daunting figuring out how to lend a helping hand. We’ve roped together a few worthy causes; look into ’em all, pick a cause, and help away. Any little bit of help will count, but what’s most important is that we keep spreading the word. 

Swipegood: When you sign up your card, every purchase you make automatically rounds up to the next dollar. Pick the cause you’d like (like the World Vision Disaster Response Fund), and make tiny, manageable donations with every purchase.

Global Giving: Donate anything from $25 to $1000 (or more!), and Global Giving disperses funds to organizations that provide direct relief to earthquake victims. Best of all, you get an e-mail update on how your money’s being used, so you’ll know your donation was worth it. (This is Rémy’s personal favorite.)

Text to help! Put that iPhone keyboard to work, and text any of these organizations to donate money by just pressing the Send button.

  • text JAPAN to 50555: $10 to GlobalGiving
  • text QUAKE to 80888: $10 to Salvation Army
  • text REDCROSS to 90999: $10 to Red Cross
  • text 4JAPAN to 20222: $10 to World Vision

Lady Gaga wristband: With a minimum $5 donation, get a wristband designed by Momma Monster herself. All proceeds go directly to relief efforts.

Wear red and white on March 24th (next Thursday) to show solidarity. The Facebook event includes a few organizations involved in relief efforts, so you can donate to any of those.

Japan aid poster: This beautiful poster designed by Max Erdenberger to raise money for Japan relief. You may be $25 short, but you’ll be helping earthquake victims and receive a cool new poster for your room.

Hide and Seek Clothing Relief Tee: For $22, get this hip t-shirt and donate your money to a list of worthwhile organizations.

Other go-to and reliable organizations that are worth donating to:


  1. Anne Simons

    The iTunes Store now has a way: you can donate $5, 10, 25, 50, 100 or 200 to the Red Cross on the credit card you have stored.

  2. T

    Donating directly to the Japanese Red Cross removes a layer of bureaucracy: http://www.google.com/crisisresponse/japanquake2011.html

    I’ve donated to GlobalGiving, and all these fundraising efforts on campus are really great, but it might also be a good idea to hold off donating funds for later in the rebuilding effort:

  3. If you’re looking to set up a local fundraising campaign for relief efforts, I made up a Lend Japan a Hand t-shirt for people to sell to raise money for Red Cross or your charity of choice. We’re located in Michigan, but can ship them out anywhere so that you can start raising money right away. I posted a picture on our blog (http://www.grscreenprinting.com/blog) if anyone’s interested. We’re also donating a percentage of profits to relief funds. Just an idea for anyone trying to set up local fundraisers to help out Japan.

Leave a Reply