Japan Earthquake: How to help, personal update

UPDATE, March 30: I'm now in Japan! My tweeting has slowed down quite a bit, mainly because I am busy ^_^ - but also because the real news has pretty much slowed down. Please check out my personal site for significant behind-the-news type updates that aren't food-related. By the way, life here in Yokohama (which is right near Tokyo, for the geographically challenged) is pretty much close to normal. Kids playing outside in the sun, mom's chatting, people going to work as usual, etc. I guess there is a bit of tension in the air, and lights tend to be dimmed at night, but that's about it. The biggest problem people are griping about right now is the high pollen count. Sorry to disappoint some people who were expecting far worse!

As I said before, my family and friends are all ok, (including my mom, who I know has quite a lot of fans via this site) though my stepfather hasn't been able to reach one of his brothers in Aomori as of yesterday update: all family member have been contacted and are safe.

I've gotten emails and so on asking specific questions about missing individuals and other thing. I am only a private individual, and I'm pretty much overwhelmed at the moment. I have no power to help you officially. Please use official sources to get information/assistance. For online information, the Google Crisis Response page is a good place to start. I also periodically post pertinent links on the abovementioned Twitter stream.

Since many people have asked, I'm putting a list of places to donate. If you have specific questions about donating to a particular organization, please consult their website. I'll update this list as needed. To send in listings for other places to donate, (new request) please post it as a comment to this article, so it will be at least accessible to everyone before I have time to update the page.

Money donations are the best way you can help from overseas. At the moment roads are very congested to hard hit areas because of partial closures, etc. Don't try to send goods; they may not even get to victims. Money can always be used to purchase needed items.

Finally, for my fellow Americans (and yes, I am a U.S. citizen), just in case you're hesitant for whatever reason about lending your support, please see this report, after Hurricane Katrina. Japanese prove truly "A Friend In Need". I believe this is at least partly why the U.S. Military operation name for the disaster assistance is named Operation Tomadachi. Tomodachi means Friend in Japanese.

Funds set up for the Japan Earthquake

UPDATE I'm putting any time sensitive fundraising events up at top here.

Note the international Red Cross organizations (see below) have set up earmarked funds for Japan.

Bakesale For Japan

A U.S. nationwide-bakesale taking place on April 2nd. See Bakesale For Japan.

Handmade For Japan auction

Still ongoing auctions to help the victims of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. Organized by Japanese-American Japanese-American ceramic artist Ayumi Horie. She, Ai Kanazawa Cheung, and Kathryn Pombriant Manzella have mobilized to solicit, promote, and auction handmade pieces of art generously donated by talented artists throughout North America and Japan. Facebook page.


My fellow bento bloggers have set up a fundraising site, See Bento4Japan.

Artists Help Japan

Artists Help Japan is a charity movement initiated by Dice Tsutsumi, an art director at Pixar Animation Studios. It gathers together the efforts of artists communities around the world to help raise money for Japan disaster relief. Artists Help Japan.

Japan Society in New York and UK

The Japan Society of New York has set up a Japan Earthquake Disaster Relief Fund. Details here. The Japan Society is also doing benefit concerts and more. Check on their web site.

The Japan Society of the UK has also set up a Japan Earthquake Disaster Relief Fund. Details here.

Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California

The JCCCNC has also set up an Earthquake Relief Fund. Details here.

Lady Gaga

You can order a We Pray For Japan wristband via Lady Gaga's official site. You can add money to the $5 price to donate if you wish.

Cranes For Japan

Cranes For Japan is an initiative to gather 100,000 paper cranes. For every crane the Bezos Family Foundation will donate $2 towards relief efforts.

Font Aid V: Made in Japan

Wow, this is a very creative way to raise funds. The Society of Typographers is calling for type designers everywhere to contribute a glyph to a special typeset that will be sold to raise funds to be sent directly to organizations in Japan. Info here.


A collaborative literary and photographic book, proceeds to go to Japan disaster relief. Quakebook site.

Write for Tohoku

Another collaborative literary effort, proceeds going to Japan disaster relief. Write for Tohoku site.

Songs for Japan on iTunes

Songs for Japan is an album of songs donated by several artists. Included John Lennon's Imagine, donated by his widow Yoko Ono. iTunes link (See how to donate to the Red Cross via the iTunes store too, below.)

Second Harvest Japan

If you live outside of Japan, you can donate money to support Second Harvest's efforts to provide food and supplies for disaster victims and more. Second Harvest Japan. (See below if you live in Japan.)

Other Japan related organizations

Via the American Express donation page listed below, I found this list of Japan related organizations. Even if you don't have an Amex card, you may find it useful to find a local organization.

International organizations

Note that many international organizations are now earmarking funds specifically for Japan's disaster.

Salvation Army

Both my grandparents on my father's side were Salvation Army officers. I have great faith in this organization.

Doctors Without Borders/Les Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)

MSF is another great organization. They've already started work in Japan.

Red Cross Red Crescent

The Japan Red Cross is taking donations by bank transfer (in Japan) or credit card (in Japan and from overseas) but their site is understandably swamped. Try this link.

Otherwise, all international Red Cross offices are accepting donations earmarked for Japan.

Other ways to donate - via companies etc.

  • In the U.S., you can text REDCROSS to 90999 with your cellphone to donate $10 to the American Red Cross.
  • Many U.S. websites have set up ways in which you can donate easily to the Red Cross, such as:
    • Amazon.com
    • Apple iTunes (note: opens iTunes). The Mac App store also has a donate button.
    • Google
    • If you are on Tumblr, there's a handy Donate link on your Dashboard (bottom right)
    • In the UK, Japan Centre has set up a system where you can buy donation coupons in 1 pound increments. Link here Donations will go to the Red Cross via the Japanese Embassy.
    • Hilton will match donations up to $250,000 to the International Red Cross/Red Crescent of members donating their Hilton HHonors points. Call 1-800-HHONORS (1-800-446-6677). Hilton is also matching all employee donations.
    • American Express also offers ways to donate to card members, including donation of Membership Miles points. Amex link
    • SXSW conference
    • You can donate to support the International Medical Corps' relief efforts in disaster areas everywhere by buying a <a href=http://www.groupon.com/deals/international-medical-corps">Groupon coupon.
    • You can donate via Paypal to one of four charities.

See also

Donating in Japan

If you live in Japan, you can donate food and supplies to Second Harvest Japan. Be sure to read their list! Second Harvest Japan.

Also contact your local city/town government offices or look on their web sites - many if not most communities around Japan are now set up to accept donations of goods or volunteers, besides money.

If you're in Japan as a visitor, the easiest way to donate is to put cash in the donation boxes at all konbini (convenience store) cash registers, including 7-11, Lawsons, FamilyMart and am/pm. If you're in an unaffected area, also check if government offices or local businesses have donation boxes.

Otherwise most if not all Japanese donation methods require a Japanese bank account or cellphone. The page I linked above has many links to donation sites in Japan.

Filed under:  japan earthquake

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People can also check out http://english.kyodonews.jp. They update pretty often. Thanks for the heads up on where to donate. I submitted a donation through Amazon.

Thanks for posting this. I'm from Hawaii and we watched the coverage closely here. My heart goes out to Japan!!

There's also a way to donate through Google (goes to red cross in Japan) http://www.google.com/crisisresponse/japanquake2011.html (donations made in yen only).

I’d made plans prior to this to go to Japan in 2 weeks. I’m certainly not cancelling.

I'd been wondering about this since the news hit -- glad you're still going and looking forward to your posts there and maybe even a guest post from your mom or other family members.

Glad your family is OK.

that is so sad to hear, I hope your father will find his brother too.
It's great to know you can help with those organisations.

There is also the British Red Cross who are now taking donations for Japan http://www.redcross.org.uk/Donate-Now/Make-a-single-donation/Japan-Tsuna...

Thanks for helping to keep us informed Maki!

Thanks for the updates, you are so right about news over here being sensationalistic,I read an online news report here in Puerto Rico from a supposedly reputable source that the nuclear plant had EXPLODED like all of it and then I read that it was just a part

Thank for doing this. What a terrible tragedy! Our local Japanese community center (Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California) is accepting donations and will send 100% to those in Japan most affected (http://www.jcccnc.org/). My son's preschool (a Japanese bilingual school) is also trying to find a good way to help. We are considering a bake/ sushi sale or connecting with a preschool in the affected areas. Perhaps if you learn of any good mechanisms for school children, you can post? The children know something terrible has happened, but we are trying to help them understand.

Donated today to different organizations. Thank you for this information. I know it's not enough - I wish I could go and help with my hands. I pray for Japan and it's people, I'm so glad your family is okay.

Japan Centre is now taking donations through their website -- especially helpful if one is going to buy items! It's under "Charity" on the top left, and you can "buy" donation coupons in £1.00 installments. The process is exactly like buying something from the website.

@maki, you probably already knew this but I thought I'd post anyway.

just found this link. posted to my twitter,Jenif1re to you but i dont know if you saw it. may be interesting to your followers.
It is related to radiation.
p.s. thanks for your updates. they are awesome


Thank you so much in providing such a comprehensive list - I linked in one of our posts to send people here for more info. Thank you and wishing you safe journeys if you head to Japan!

I also donated to Mercy Corps designation: Japan Earthquake Response...thankfully my cousin Carl who lives and works in Plaza Kachidoki is ok but the devastation throughout pictures I've seen is heart wrenching...despite our different cultures we're all in this life together and pray for some real miracle stories to happen...came across your info via shopping at my local Uwajimaya store and found this free magazine...you're web site looks enticing! Best Wishes, Corie in Seattle

Glad to hear that you and your family are safe!

p.s. Japanese Red Cross has begun taking donations as well. Both postal transfer and credit cards are accepted.


You mentioned that you had planned to go to Japan in 2 weeks and still plan to go. I also had made plans to visit Tokyo next week and am caught between going and canceling based on concerns from friends and family. I have no family there but friends. I really still want to go. Are you concerned about the nuclear reactors. By the way, I donated to the Japanese Red Cross through Google. I'm glad your family is ok.

Thank goodness your family is okay. My family is too. Every time I listen or watch the news and it is about Japan I am ready to burst out crying. My teacher and a few of my friends have been feeling so depressed to hear about this. So Maki-san even with the Nuclear gas situation you are still going? Be careful and I send you my prayers and good luck.

Japan America Society of Chicago is also putting together a relief effort: http://www.jaschicago.org/en/japanearthquakerelief/

The Japan Society of Northern California has also set up a Japan Earthquake & Tsunami Relief Fund, details here: http://give2asia.org/japansociety

For all you baseball fans out there, The Red Sox Foundation is another way to donate if you want to help. 100% of proceeds will go to Red Cross relief in Japan. You can watch the short video (in English or Japanese) by players, Dice-K and Okajima Hideki, encouraging those to donate to the fund if they can:


Have a safe trip to Japan Maki. I'm so glad to hear all your family members are accounted for.

Hello, i've designed some Japanese notecards which i'm selling for charity - 100% of the proceeds will go to the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund via globalgiving.co.uk


Leah xx

My heart really goes out to those in Japan. If you do go, please be safe and take care of yourself!

Google.com also has a long list of ways to help:


I donated via the British Red Cross Tsunami appeal:


Our thoughts and prayers are with all the people of Japan (inside or out!) at this terrible time.

I prefer the charity called OXFAM because unlike red cross etc. they have really low overhead so the money you send is likely to make it to the victims~ This is the web link~

Our friends are organizing relief and have already returned from a delivery trip to Sendai:

I read this in my newspaper yesterday. I hope this helps you or your readers. Many cellphone companys are letting their subscribers call/text Japan for free. Here’s the latest updated link with the details for AT&T, Verizon & Sprint subscribers.
Hope this helps connect people during this difficult time.

Long-time reader, first time commenter. A huge thanks to you, Maki, for tweeting so much of the news -- I've been trying to follow as best I (and my very poor Japanese skills) can manage, but especially during the workday your updates have been something to hold onto.

Another link for the list, if you like -- fan communities (see community help_japan on Livejournal -- which the spam filter isn't letting me directly link) are in the process of running a charity auction to raise funds for Japan, with people offering a wide variety of things.

I've got a fundraiser page setup through Crowdrise.com. I got fed up with seeing so many different showing up that were "helping" by clicking, posting and reposting things, or honking your horn. Only collected $45 so far, but it's something.


Some people seem to be having issues these days with just donating for something, crowdrise has several promotions going on, such as any $16 or $26 donation before March 31st putting the person in a drawing to win an iPod Nano.

All donations made through my page go directly to Network for Good, Inc. They've collected over $2,000,000 towards helping Japan in this time of need. The money they receive through my page will be distributed through these many organizations involved in helping Japan right now.

ADRA, American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, American Red Cross, Americares, Amurt, Catholic Relief Services, Convoy of Hope, Direct Relief International, EFCA, GlobalGiving, International Medical Corps, Islamic Relief USA, Lions Club Internaional, Mercy Corps, Operation Blessing Internaional, Operation USA, Salvation Army, Save the Children, Shelterbox, and World Vision.

For donations under $25, 95%-$1 will be distributed.
For donations over $25, 95%-$2.50 will be distributed.
(http://www.crowdrise.com/about/faq#cost to understand why they can not give 100%)

Turns out as I've been typing this, I just got another donation, bringing the total to $71.

It'd be great to have my link included in the list, but understand if not since I'm not actually the organization the money is going to. Feeling useless here in California, so I'm trying to do SOMETHING good and helpful!

Hi Maki,

Yesterday I started Anime & Manga Bloggers For Japan to help raise money for relief efforts made by Doctors Without Borders and Shelter Box USA. We've raised over $1200 so far.
What we want to do is encourage people to donate because they love uniquely Japanese media, hobbies and other things found only in Japan.
It started out on my blog, but with some help we developed our own site at http://bloggers4japan.com
Obviously, anyone is welcome to participate through donation or spreading the word.
We'd really love it if you posted the link to our fundraiser.

Daniella Orihuela-Gruber

another "time-sensitive" fundraising event coming up in NYC:


Saturday, March 19 · 7:00pm - 11:00pm
Lolita Bar
266 Broome Street
New York, NY

Silent & live auction. live music followed by DJ.
100% proceeds to UNICEF - specifically to benefit the Japan Relief Fund.

Please also consider contributing goods/services for the silent/live auction:

Since I'm living in Japan at the moment, my friends and I plan on shipping boxes of food and necessities to the Second Hunger organization, who has a truck going up every other day to the affected areas to provide relief :) After experiencing the earthquake and listening to the news every day, I really want to help in any way I can ><

Oops not Second Hunger, but Second Harvest. Their website can be seen at http://www.2hj.org/index.php/eng_home for anyone interested.

I like what Second Harvest Japan is doing with food waste too--sustainable food. I appreciate how they are transparent with their funds and keeping the public aware of their work. They're updating their blogs about their efforts in the North. http://2hjdrbloge.blogspot.com/

(wasn't sure if my last post went through...)

Saturday, March 19 · 7:00pm - 11:00pm
Lolita Bar
266 Broome Street
New York, NY


Silent & live auction. Live music & DJ.
100% proceeds from this event will be donated to UNICEF - specifically to benefit the Japan Relief Fund.

Please consider contributing goods/services for the silent/live auction: http://www.uniteforjapan.com/home/auction

Saw this recently:


Japan Association of Interpreters is looking for volunteer interpreters to help in relief efforts. Volunteer interpreters available to organizations who need them.

Starbucks, in addition to donating money, is accepting donations at the registers up to 249.99 USD.

I copied this from the facebook group Working and Praying for Japan earthquake victims. We are a group of people inside and outside of Japan who are banding together to do just what the title says. I live in Japan and am a member of the Mito church of Christ. We have set up a way for people to give to the Mito church of Christ in Mito, Ibaraki, Japan. The funds will be used to help those in need during this time! If you are interested in this, you can send money to Park Avenue church of Christ in the US or to Bramalea Church of Christ in Canada. There are also other organizations that I copied and pasted here.

3/15/11: For the moment, if you would like to send donations to a local church from North America, please direct them to:

Park Avenue Church of Christ
ATTN: Dwight Albright
5295 Park Ave
Memphis, TN 38119-3543
Phone: 901 682-1220

Bramalea Church of Christ
ATTN: Walter Straker
750 Clark Blvd.
Brampton, ON L6T 3Y2
Phone: 905-792-2297

Other organizations:

Healing Hands International
Just got off the phone with the director and they will be in contact. - jws
You can go online and donate to Japan relief at http://www.hhi.org/

Global Samaritan
Just got off the phone with their director, too. They will also be in contact soon. - jws

MARCH for Christ, Inc.-Medical Action for Relief, Counseling & Healing (Since 1991) You can send your checks to:

Bread for a Hungry World (a 501 3c org with CoC)
6250 NE Loop 820
NRH, TX 76180
(Indicate Earthquake Relief in your check)
Or give online at www.givebread.org

We need funds for the purchase and shipment of blankets, heavy sleeping bags, baby formula, feeding bottles, food and water. Would like to work with churches of Christ in Japan. We are based in the Philippines and have worked in disasters in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Myanmar and Bangladesh.

To know more about MARCH, check us out in Facebook: M.A.R.C.H. for Christ

CRASH Japan (Evangelical Crisis Relief Organization)
Some of us have met Jonathan Wilson and Paul Nethercott at CPI conferences and other venues. They are highly organized and IN JAPAN.

Japan Tsunami Relief Fund
Will likely work in conjunction with CRASH but appears to be its own thing as well.

Hi, I am living here in Japan. Ive been here for many years.
I am now in Tokyo.
You seem like a person who really wants to help.
So if you need any help or would like help for someone else
please let me know and ill do whatever i can do.
you can follow me here, i update as much as needed :

i just think the more people who help
the faster things can get back to "normal".


I am glad everyone you know is safe.

I lived in Iwate for a while, and I still have friends there. When I found out that the tsunami had hit Otsuchi, Kamaishi and Ofunato, my heart was broken- luckily, everyone I know there is accounted for and safe, but these places are destroyed.

If there is one thing I learned while I lived in Iwate, however, it's that the people in Japan know how to persevere, and eventually, everything will be alright.

There were no real activities in the Netherlands, until now. Also, the Red Cross did not do anything specific for Japan.
I did find this link, however: http://www.facebook.com/JapanHelpenKan

On a personal note: Maki, try to take care of yourself! I wish you strength and tolerance for stupid people on twitter :-)


People can donate to Peace Winds America. http://peacewindsamerica.org/ Peace Winds America does disaster preparedness and recovery in the Pacific Rim, including Japan. It is a partner of Mercy Corps. Perhaps even more significantly, Peace Winds America is affiliated with Peace Winds Japan, which is already on the ground in Japan, delivering supplies, etc. http://www.peace-winds.org/en/

Information on how to give donations to Girl Scouts in Japan & portion of patch sales will go to GSJ via donation from company to GSUSA.

http://patchworkdesigns.net/ & http://patchworkdesigns.net/japan%20relief.htm

Maybe this will work for the LJ link: community.livejournal.com/help_japan -- just add http:// later.

A doctor from my medical group who's worked in Haiti and other places for relief efforts is raising money to go to Japan (so I guess that's time-sensitive): https://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=0AfAi1cCX9j6OZGYzeG16bjVfOTAyZDc5Y2N0Z...
The medical group just donated $500,000 directly to relief efforts in Japan. :)

Also, profits at writer Christopher Moore's merchandise store through the end of March:


(warning: highly irreverent content)

MANY of the Japan or Japanese related organizations in Arizona have formed a committee to respond to the disaster in Japan. We created the website www.AzJapanRelief.com to keep people up to date on how to donate. Please pass along this website - a beautiful pendant will soon be available, currently being created by a local artist, with 100% of profits from the sale going to Japan. It is a pendant with a wave graphic in the background, and the kanji TOMODACHI (friendship) in the foreground. Check our website often. We hope to have this item linked on it next week!

Everyone should check with his/her employer before donating to see whether the employer will match charitable donations. I know that not everyone whose company offers this benefit takes advantage of it. It might take some extra steps for you but some companies will double the amount donated. It can really add up if enough people do it.

Hi, I am a Japanese artist living in BOSTON.

Here is what I am doing to support JAPAN.

★Japan Tsunami Fundraising Art Project★

I created a piece called "Prayers for Japan" and started a "Healing Art Donation Project" for JAPAN REELIEF EFFORTS.

"Prayers for Japan" is 8.5x11 giclee print and 100% sales from the profit will be donated to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF (USF) to help children in Japan impacted by the Earthquake and Tsunami.

It is $20.

I have also put my prints for sale on etsy site. A portion of all my print sales profit will be donated to benefit JAPAN.

You can purchase my prints here:

I would highly appreciate it, if you could spread the words to anyone you know through twitter, Facebook, e-mail, etc who likes art.

Everyone needs a little help sometimes...and Japan needs yours right now...

東日本大震災 「癒しのアート募金」 


Thanks for your support!
P.S. Hello, Maki, if you could include my fund raising project in your listing, I would be so delighted!

we just hosted a friendly Japanese Relief fundraising at our home with our friend chef Yuriko and her friend Yuko and other Japanese friend attended by Italians and foreigners living in Rome. The offer has been sent and we are happy to help!