Important Importables: How to help people affected by the Japan 8.9 earthquake

March 15, 2011 - 2:00 am No Comments

Hot Japanese Imports: How to help people affected by the Japan 8.9 earthquake

Section: Gaming News, Features, Columns, Japanese Imports, Lists, Web-Sites, Official-Sites

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The Salvation Army Logo ShieldI know, you’ve probably stumbled on Hot Japanese Imports this week, expecting to read the promised review of Freshly-Picked: Tingle’s Rosy Rupeeland (DS). Then, suddenly, you find it running on a Monday instead of Friday, like usual. After what has happened in Japan, it seems more appropriate to look at ways we can help those who have had their lives changed forever by the March 11, 2011 8.9 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear plant problems..

So here are a few reliable charities and trustworthy links you can go to, to learn everything about what’s going on in Japan and see how you can help make a difference.

Reliable News Sources

With everything that’s going on in Japan, it’s a good idea to know the best places to visit to keep yourself informed. These sites are all reliable and can keep you informed about the situation overseas.

  • NHK World: This is the English language website for Nippon Hoso Kyokai, Japan’s public broadcasting service. If you want the most up to date news and videos from Japan, your best bet is to go here first.
  • CNN: Throughout the disaster, CNN has been offering up-to-date coverage. It also has a large selection of videos to sort, though it can be a bit difficult to find the exact video you want. I recommend going to the video section, clicking the International tab, and then clicking Most Popular. You should find the most videos pertaining to Japan there.
  • International Committee of the Red Cross Family Links: If you are still trying to locate a loved one in Japan, the website is a good place to start. There, you can check and see if someone you love has checked in with the Red Cross. People can visit the site to see a list of names, report that you’re in Japan and okay, or report someone as missing. This site is available in English, Japanese, Chinese, Spanish, Korean and Portugese.
  • Google: You probably wouldn’t expect to see Google here, but the company has stepped up to help. If you visit the Google Crisis Response page, you can find lots of helpful information. You can check out Google’s 2011 Japan Earthquake Person Finder search tool, final Japan emergency numbers, directly donate to the Japanese Red Cross and find out lots of other helpful information. The site seems like it would be especially useful for people in Japan, since it offers links to pertinent message boards, status on trains, buses and flight schedules and sites to see where blackouts are still going on.
  • Anime News Network: It may seem silly to link to Anime News Network at a time like this, but allow me to explain. The site has taken it upon itself to create a directory of various people involved in the entertainment industry in Japan (manga authors and artists, performers, some game industry members and ANN writers) who have checked in to confirm that they are fine after the disaster.

Lady Gaga We Pray for Japan Bracelet prototype artwork

Reliable Ways to Help

As sad as it is, there are people out there who use disasters to take advantage of people. They’ll say that they are part of some kind of charity, then steal donations instead of giving them to the people in need. If you really want to help Japan, then you should donate only to reliable organizations. Here are some charities and relief efforts you can trust.

  • Red Cross: Whether you donate to the American Red Cross or Japanese Red Cross, rest assured that the money will be going directly to the people who need it. If you have a cell phone, then sending in a donation is incredibly easy. A $10 donation will be made if you send a text message to the number 90999 with the word “REDCROSS” as the message.
  • The Salvation Army: The Salvation Army is also taking donations and helping Japan. While it isn’t accepting actual item donations, it is accepting cash donations to help with the relief effort. You can visit the website given above to make a donation. Also, like the Red Cross, The Salvation Army is accepting donations via cell phones. You can make a $10 donation by sending a text to 80888 with either the word “Japan” or “Quake” as the message.
  • International Medical Corps: This is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing medical and humanitarian aid to anyone who needs it. This organization provided assistance during Hurricane Katrina and the recent earthquake in Haiti. This organization is providing aid to Japan as well, and also has a text message donation system in place. Like the Red Cross and Salvation Army, you can make a $10 donation by texting the word “MED” to the number 80888.
  • Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders): MSF has commited itself to sending doctors to Japan to assist people who have been injured in the disaster. MSF is a group of doctors and medical professionals who go anywhere they’re needed, providing care for injured people. MSF also helps to make sure people in dangerous areas have access to clean water and food.
  • We Pray for Japan bracelet Lady Gaga has created a Japan Earthquake Relief Wristband designed to aid people affected by the disaster. It’s a white bracelet with red writing in English and Japanese that says “We pray for Japan”. It costs $5, but people can choose to donate more when they buy. All money goes to the relief effort and the bracelets start shipping March 25, 2011.
  • TinierMe: This avatar website has begun selling six items in its cash shop. If members of the site pay for these pixels, the money spent on them will be donated to the American Red Cross’ Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami relief fund.

If you know any other reliable organizations people can contribute to in order to help those experiencing trials in Japan, let us know in the comments. I’ll check them out and add them to the list.

COMING NEXT WEEK: Hot Japanese Imports will really review Freshly Picked: Tingle’s Rosy Rupeeland for DS on Friday. I mean it this time.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Last week talked about Imageepoch.

Full Story » | Written by Jenni Lada for Gamertell. | Comment on this Article »

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