Useful Ways To Help Japan Disaster Relief

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The horrifying news of the earthquake and subsequent tsunami and nuclear leak that hit Japan late last week are still vivid in our minds. If you haven't already donated your time and money, many more Japanese disaster relief organizations and charities are in dire need of your help and resources. Our roundup below gives you a variety of options to offer your services, even from other side of the world.

As per our commenter's suggestions here and on Twitter, make sure you check out Charity Navigator to find additional groups already doing work in Japan.

International Medical Corps—Text MED to 80888 to give $10 to International Medical Corps and learn about additional ways you can help medical teams administer support and healthcare.

Salvation Army—The Salvation Army in Japan already has three emergency service teams operating in devastated areas, and other global territories like South Korea and Hawaii have pledged their support. Call 1-800-SAL-ARMY to donate or text "Japan" or "Quake" to 80888 to make a $10 donation (Please make sure to respond "YES" to the Thank You message you will receive).  

Shelterbox—This international aid organization responds immediately to disaster and conflict-stricken countries by sending utility boxes that can provide up to 10 people with shelter and lifesaving equipment tailored for each location. And because you can track your box all the way to the recipient country, you are assured that your money is going where it's supposed to. Donate online. 

Fast Retailing—Fast Retailing group, the Japanese corporation that brought Uniqlo to our shores, is backing the country's recovery program using its vast assets. President, Chairman and CEO Tadashi Yanai is set to make a personal donation of 1 billion yen, while 700 million yen of clothing will be sent to victims. All company stores worldwide will have donation boxes where customers can drop off donations. In the US, you can visit Uniqlo to drop off yours.
Uniqlo 546 Broadway, New York, NY 10012 USA.

Lady Gaga Prayer Bracelet —You don't have to be a Monster fan to join the pop superstar's latest cause. Gaga has designed a $5 "We Pray For Japan" Wristband on sale at her website, with all proceeds from the sale going to tsunami relief efforts. You'll also be given the option to give an additional donation. 

Twitter Hashtags—A Twitter blog post has detailed various ways to help out in relief efforts (scroll down to read in English). Among other things, the site has identified special earthquake hashtags you can retweet and/or follow to help spread information about the disaster in Japan.

#Jishin: General earthquake information
#J_j_helpme: Requests for rescue or other aid
#Hinan: Evacuation information
#Anpi: Confirmation of safety of individuals, places, etc.
#311care: Medical information for victims 

Google—Google's Crisis Response page lists news and information related to the Japan disaster. It also has Person Finder app which people can use to search or give information about missing loved ones, and other resources such as transportation status, blackout information, and shelter resident lists.

Facebook—The social network has created the Global Disaster Relief page, which allows visitors access to information on a host of organizations where you can donate. Zynga users, for instance, can donate money by purchasing virtual goods in CityVille, FrontierVille, FarmVille, and other games, with the objective of raising $2 million for Save the Children's Japan Earthquake Tsunami Emergency Fund.

Global Giving—Online donations to their Japan project will be disbursed to a network of organizations providing relief and emergency services to victims, including International Medical Corps, and Save the Children. The site also gives you the option of making a gift donation or naming it in honor of someone.

Doctors Without Borders—This international medical organization is staffed by doctors and journalists, many of whom have been sent out as medical teams to support government relief response. They are also running mobile clinics and conducting needs assessments, all of which are funded by unrestricted donations given to MSF. To donate, visit their website online.