When disasters or crises hit Asian Buddhist countries, I believe that we as Western Buddhists are offered a way to re-pay the gift of dharma that has been shared with us so generously by our dharma brothers and sisters in the East.
Now, the people of Japan are in great need in the wake of the devastating earthquake and tsunami of March 11. Some of my Buddhist blogging colleagues have collected lists of ways to help with the relief efforts in Japan:
- See this post from Adam Tebbe on Sweeping Zen
- John Pappas, aka Jack Daw, of Point of Contact, has posted a collection of photos that illustrate the extent of the disaster, and re-posted an extensive “How to Help” list from USA Today
- Rev. Danny Fisher recommends the Google Crisis Response page, which includes a link to donate to the Japanese Red Cross Society
- The Shambhala Sun Space blog offers this list
- Tricycle Magazine provides this post
If you’re looking for a reputable and respected Buddhist organization to support, I’d highly recommend making a donation to the Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation. Tzu Chi is one of the world’s first socially engaged Buddhist organizations and they have done tremendous relief work at other natural disaster sites, including the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Tzu Chi has announced that it has set up a command center to prepare for launching relief aid to Japan. You can learn more and make a donation here.
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Maia, this is beautiful…thank you. I plan to make the Tzu Chi Foundation one that I donate to. I am also linking up this post in my post on my blog tomorrow so others can see these ways to help.
Here are a few more useful lists of ways to help:
New York Times “How to Help”: http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/11/japan-earthquake-and-tsunami-how-to-help/
The NPR Blog: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2011/03/14/134532391/crisis-in-japan-heres-how-to-help?ft=1&f=1001
“Good” website: http://www.good.is/post/earthquake-and-tsunami-in-japan-how-to-help/
Thank you, Maia – this information is very helpful and clearly and accessible. I know have learned about Tzu Chi through you. Deep bow.
Thanks for the links, Maia. I would like to add a caveat to my post. Please refer to the Charity Navigator first before you give to any organization that you are not familiar with.
Even from the USA Today article that I thought was reliable, when I looked into the specific organizations I found many of them Evangelicals that put preaching above providing aid.
If you check my post now, I listed the “Most Trusted” list from the Charity Navigator for groups that are helping Japan in this time of crisis.
A few other resources for people worried about loved ones:
Google Person Finder
: Google has launched its Person Finder for the Japan Earthquake. Users can input information about someone in the service or search it to see if any information is available about someone who might have been impacted by the tsunami. The resource currently has 6,900 records and growin.
NTT Docomo Safety Response
: One of Japan’s mobile-phone providers is allowing users to input a loved one’s mobile phone number into a search to confirm the safety of that person.
KDDI Disaster Message Board
: Similar to NTT Docomo’s service, the KDDI Disaster Message Board lets people place messages on its service to find out about a loved one’s condition. That loved one’s safety can then be confirmed via mobile phone or on a PC.
Softbank Message Board:
Softbank’s Message Board mimics KDDI’s service, allowing users to post a message to loved ones, which can then be viewed on the person’s mobile phone. They can respond from that device to confirm they’re safe.
Japan Shelter Map:
A Google Map has been created for around Tokyo, listing lodging places for people who have been affected by the tsunami to stay the night.
For the animals, google The Conscious Cat – animal rescue groups organizing…
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I got an email from Ultimate Rewards, the company that admins my credit card rewards that contained a link to a page that lets you donate your rewards to the Red Cross. We donated all of ours and I posted a note on Facebook asking that others do the same. My sister donated all of her Amex points, of which apparently there were a LOT! I believe you can also donate your frequent flyer points too, though I am not sure where. Everything helps, let’s all please remember our incredible good fortune and give what we can.
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