I mentioned some pictures. Pictures are worth a thousand words, which is good because even after all the images stuck in my mind the past two and a half weeks, these leave me speechless. Go have a look. Dang.
I also mentioned giving and said that I'd include in this post, too, links from last post. So, here they are.
Maggie's Favorite Ways to Help (Again)
- Second Harvest Japan is a national food bank that collects perfectly good food that would otherwise be wasted, but they are now accepting donations of both items and money for the earthquake affected areas.
- Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue and Support (Facebook info page and donation page) and is a coalition of three no-kill shelter groups that were in existence before this tragedy, and they are rescuing and reuniting pets in the affected area.
- Socks for Japan (and here on Facebook, and here in Japanese) or is an effort based in Tochigi to deliver socks with notes of encouragement to those in shelters. The FAQs alone provide interesting insight into why it is often best to donate money instead of goods but also how in this case sending socks is a good and doable thing. Seriously, check out this update post. If nothing else, I promise that you will feel good reading it and seeing how huge of an impact a small gesture can make. I promise. I had already sent a box of socks, but this made me want to send even more.
- The Red Cross seems to pretty much be there anytime something bad happens. Back in the States long ago, a friends house burnt down, and they were there to help. That was small scale. You know they are everywhere for the huge scale, too. You can, of course give money. If you are eligible and so inclined, it is free to give blood. If you are in Japan, the blood goes here, I think. If not, it can still be a nice way to give, and I went that route so that I could spend a little more money to support some of these smaller organizations. Win-win-win (me, those needing money, those needing blood).
- 3000 Letters for Japan was started by a member of the JET program, and it is a letter-writing/picture drawing/cheer sharing project aimed at the elementary and junior high school students in the hard hit area of Miyagi prefecture. If you or people you know want to help in some way that does not cost more than the price of sending letters, this is a great project. I think it would also be great for groups and schools wanting to do something but perhaps not having an abundance of resources. If you do this, please see the guidelines. Keep the message cheerful and the English very simple. These are kids. Some are too young to read, and others have just started learning English. Colorful pictures and drawings go a long way. If you sign the letter, they will probably love it more than I can explain. If you really want to do this, but money is tight enough that you need help with the cost of shipping some letters this way, I will see what I can do to help. Let's don't go crazy, now. I cannot finance heavy boxes of correspondence, but I am happy to help a bit if I can and if you need. Holler.