Opportunities to Help Japan

As I write this, people in Japan are struggling with their greatest challenges since WW II as noted by Japan’s Prime Minister Naoto Kan.  The recent earthquake has recently been upgraded to a 9.0 which is almost unimaginable in its power.  You can get some idea from the extent of damage from photographs on The Big Picture here and here as well as this terrifying footage here.

I am grateful that friends and colleagues in Japan are safe, though there has been a tragic loss of life whose numbers are increasing by the hour.  I’ve been talking with friends in Iwate Prefecture and other places in Japan wondering what I could do to help.  Because of the scale of damage, sending goods is going to be difficult, but there are things that you can do to help:

I’ll update this entry with resources that you can assist through as I find them.  Update 03/15/11:  The Japanese Embassy has indicated that donations to the American Red Cross would be gratefully received.


Apple has a channel on iTunes available to donate to the Red Cross Japan Relief fund here.

The American Red Cross also takes donations by texting REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 US via your phone bill in the USA, 30333 in Canada to donate $10 CA, 57500 in Ireland to donate €5.  You can also call 1-800-RED-CROSS in the USA. Charity Navigator Score: 55.48. Per Kate’s comment below, PLEASE SPECIFY that your donation is for JAPAN RELIEF. Otherwise, funds raised go to their general fund.

Direct Relief International is currently coordinating responses with government and non-governmental organizations.  You can donate here.  Charity Navigator Score:  69.88.

Architecture for Humanity has a plan to support  translational shelters, health clinics, schools, hospitals and more.  Donate here.  Charity Navigator Score: 68.45.

Relief International has staff on the ground in Tokyo and is monitoring the situation.  You can donate here.  Charity Navigator Score: 67.67.

American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee is partnering with the Japanese Jewish community to provide funding to local NGOs.  You can donate here.  Charity Navigator Score: 67.10.

Catholic Medical Mission Board is working to distribute medicines and medical supplies in Japan.  You can donate here.  Charity Navigator Score: 64.70.

AmeriCares is sending an emergency team and disaster relief expert.  You can donate to their efforts here.  Charity Navigator Score: 64.49.

Food for the Hungry is working with partners in Japan and supporting Japanese churches.  You can donate here.  Charity Navigator Score: 64.49.

International Rescue Committee is supporting relief efforts in Japan.  You can donate here.  Charity Navigator Score: 64.08.

Convoy of Hope is currently transporting aid to Japan.  You can donate here.  Charity Navigator Score 64.07.

Save The Children is working to provide food and medical care here.  In the USA you can text JAPAN to 20222 to donate $10US.  You can also call 1-800-728-3843.  Charity Navigator Score: 63.97.

Action Against Hunger is providing assistance.  You can donate here.  Charity Navigator Score:  63.88.

World Vision is on the ground in Japan and distributing relief supplies.  You can donate here.  Charity Navigator Score 62.98.

Doctors Without Borders are currently assessing post-quake needs.  You can donate to their efforts here.  Charity Navigator Score: 61.18.

Global Giving is helping out with efforts and is accepting donations here.  Charity Navigator Score: 58.42.

Shelterbox is on the ground in Japan already with a team assessing needs.  You can donate to their efforts here or text Shelter to 20222 to make a $10 US donation to their efforts.  Charity Navigator Score: 57.79.

The International Medical Corps is also sending relief teams, medical and food supplies to the region.  Visit the website or call 1-800-481-4462 to help.  Charity Navigator Score: 57.24.

Oxfam is also providing assistance here.  Charity Navigator Score: 51.07.

The Lions Clubs International are providing $1.25 Million for relief in Japan.  See donation options here. Charity Navigator Score: 42.66.

Japan Society is investigating options for assistance and is soliciting funds that will be disbursed to appropriate sources.  Charity Navigator Score: 32.47.  Update 03/17/11: The Japan Society is hosting a concert with all proceeds going to Japan earthquake relief.

The Salvation Army is currently assisting efforts to feed, house and provide disaster assistance in Japan.  You can donate online here or text Japan or Quake to 80888 to make a $10 US donation via your phone bill. Charity Navigator Score: Not Scored.

Israel Aid Mission is sending a 25-man team to Japan on Wednesday to perform search and rescue, provide aid and distribute food.  Not found on Charity Navigator.


The Nippon Science Support Network is coordinating immediate relief projects via existing scientific networks between Germany and Japan.

Delta is now partnering with a number of agencies so you can donate your frequent flyer miles to Japan Relief efforts.

Google has a crisis response page with a link to a people finder here.

South By SouthWest is putting their influence to work.  You can donate here or text your donation to 90999.

The Help Japan poster, a beautiful and poignant image found on BoingBoing can be purchased here.  All profits go to help the relief effort.

Patrick Smith is donating all proceeds from the sale of a selection of his photographs to Japan relief efforts as are a number of other photographers.  Nathan Armes is keeping a list of photographers who are donating proceeds from their photographs to Japan recovery efforts here.  There are some phenomenal images that are available for your donation $$s.



More imagery of the disaster on The Atlantic here and here, in the Denver Post here, the Los Angeles Times here, New York Times here, MSNBC here and the Wall Street Journal here.



Note, FAQ: The image of the Japanese Flag is from a trip to Nagoya, Japan I took some time ago.  Requests to use this image for charitable purposes are absolutely granted and the image is licensed under Creative Commons: Attribution, Noncommercial, No Derivative Works.


25 Replies to “Opportunities to Help Japan”

  1. Thanks folks. The traffic on this post has been crazy and my hope is that at least some of the traffic will be converted to donations for some of the linked charities.

  2. If you donate to the Red Cross, PLEASE SPECIFY that your donation is for JAPAN RELIEF. Otherwise, funds raised go to their general fund. This may be the case with many organizations, so make sure you specify the project for your money.

  3. Thank you Bryan for posting these links and information. I hope you don’t mind but I posted it on my facebook page and hope others will share the information too. Also, thank you Kate for the Red Cross directions.

  4. Erin, absolutely. Please feel free to get this information out to as many people as possible. The recovery for Japan is going to take much effort and many years I suspect.

    Kate, thank you. Content updated.

    Thanks to everyone that has replied and to those that have clicked through to contribute to the Japan relief efforts.

  5. EyeTye
    Posted: Mon 3/14/2011 6:35 AM
    Earthquake Relief… Just a suggeston, but I think that with all the cruize ships around these days, Countries and owners would want to assist by postponing fun and think of those in need. Haiti and now Japan are in need of shelter for thousands of homeless. Could Govt and and or the powers that be, come up with a not for profit solution to provide these floating cities to these people in need, until they get their lives in order…?

  6. EyeTye,

    This is a concept that was floated during the Hurricane Katrina aftermath. You are correct, its *still* a good concept.

  7. Mr. Jones, Thanks for doing much more than just talking about the poor Japanese over the water cooler. I will make every attempt to pass on your listed links in person to people I come into contact with during the course of my day.
    M. Bagby

  8. http://facebook.com/SongsForJapan

    Download music to benefit Red Cross relief
    to earthquake and tsunami victims in Japan!

    Download 38 songs for $9.99 at:

    01 Imagine (Remastered) by John Lennon
    02 Walk On (Radio Edit) by U2
    03 Shelter from the Storm by Bob Dylan
    04 Around the World (Live) by Red Hot Chili Peppers
    05 Born This Way (Starsmith Remix) by Lady GaGa
    06 Irreplaceable by Beyoncé
    07 Talking to the Moon (Acoustic Piano Version) by Bruno Mars
    08 Firework by Katy Perry
    09 Only Girl (In the World) by Rihanna
    10 Like I Love You by Justin Timberlake
    11 Miles Away (Live) by Madonna
    12 When Love Takes Over (feat. Kelly Rowland) by David Guetta
    13 Love the Way You Lie (feat. Rihanna) by Eminem
    14 Human Touch by Bruce Springsteen
    15 Awake (Live) by Josh Groban
    16 Better Life by Keith Urban
    17 One Tribe by The Black Eyed Peas
    18 Sober by P!nk
    19 It’s OK by Cee Lo Green
    20 I Run to You by Lady Antebellum
    21 What Do You Got? by Bon Jovi
    22 My Hero by Foo Fighters
    23 Man On the Moon (Live) by R.E.M.
    24 Save Me by Nicki Minaj
    25 By Your Side by Sade
    26 Hold On (Radio Mix) by Michael Bublé
    27 Pray (Acoustic) by Justin Bieber
    28 Make You Feel My Love by ADELE
    29 If I Could Be Where You Are by Enya
    30 Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me by Elton John
    31 Waiting On the World to Change by John Mayer
    32 Teo Torriatte (Let Us Cling Together) by Queen
    33 Use Somebody by Kings of Leon
    34 Fragile (Live) by Sting, Steven Mercurio & Royal Philharmonic
    35 Better In Time by Leona Lewis
    36 One In a Million by Ne-Yo
    37 Whenever, Wherever by Shakira
    38 Sunrise by Norah Jones

    Download music to benefit Red Cross relief
    to earthquake and tsunami victims in Japan!

    Download 38 songs for $9.99 at:


  9. I have worked in Japan and this tragedy really is horrible. I have been trying to find a way to sponsor a family from Japan to come here and stay with me while they rebuild. I have a large home with plenty of space. Seems there is no one that I can find to help answer if this is possible. All any group seems to want is money. If there is anyone with a POC for this, I would greatly appreciate your help.

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