Tsunami aid and relief: How you can help
A tsunami smashes vehicles and houses Friday in Kesennuma in northern Japan.
March 14th, 2011
08:55 AM ET

Tsunami aid and relief: How you can help

For more information, check out CNN's "Impact Your World" section.

The world is mobilizing to help victims of Friday's 8.9-magnitude earthquake that unleashed a devastating tsunami on Japan.

The U.S. State Department is urging U.S. citizens to contact friends and family as soon as possible. They can also e-mail the State Department at JapanEmergencyUSC@state.gov. Those seeking information on security in or travel to Japan can call 1-888-407-4747 or 1-202-501-4444.

Google also is assisting in helping victims touch base with friends and loved ones. Its People Finder, which was tracking almost 153,000 records as of Monday morning, allows users to look for victims or post information about people. It works in five languages.

As myriad nations offer monetary aid, condolences and rescue teams, many people around the world are seeking ways to ease the burden on the Japanese government and people.

The humanitarian group World Vision is rushing personnel into the affected areas and providing food, water, medical supplies and shelter for victims.

It also plans to establish one or more “child-friendly spaces” for kids “affected by disasters to resume normal childhood activities and experience structure and security that are often lost following emergency situations."

Follow World Vision’s blog for updates, and visit its website or text “4japan” to 20222 to send a $10 donation to the group. It will show up on your next mobile phone bill.

The American Red Cross sent a disaster expert from Washington to Japan on Monday and the Japanese Red Cross has dispatched dozens of response teams. If you'd like to donate to the Red Cross efforts, text "redcross" to 90999, and you can make a $10 donation to the organization.

You can also keep up with Red Cross updates by following its Twitter feed and Facebook updates.

The Salvation Army, which has had a presence in Japan since 1895, sent a team to Sendai to assess damages and hopes to provide food, water and other necessities. In Tokyo, the Salvation Army opened its main building to house and feed commuters who were unable to reach their homes.

The aid organization is issuing updates via its blog, its Twitter feed and Facebook page. It also is accepting donations via text message. Those interested in contributing $10 to the group can text "japan" or "quake" to 80888.

AmeriCares, which is also accepting donations, said it is mobilizing resources and sending an emergency response manager to the region.

Save the Children is sending an emergency team to assist its staff in Japan. Donations to the group's Children's Emergency Fund will help preserve the welfare of young ones, who "are always the most vulnerable in a disaster," Eiichi Sadamatsu in central Tokyo said in a statement.

Globalgiving.com, another aid organization that allows donors to select the causes they want to support - including climate change, economic development, human rights and disaster relief - has established a Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund. GlobalGiving will disburse funds to organizations providing aid and relief to victims.

Among those organizations are Save the Children and the International Medical Corps. The Corps, which focuses on "health care training and relief and development programs," is coordinating with local authorities and partners to determine the most pressing needs. It also is providing technical expertise and assisting with logistics.

To contribute to the Corps' efforts, visit its website or text "med" to 80888 to send the group a $10 donation.

And don't forget the "other" victims of the temblor and tsunami. The American Humane Association, which has been rescuing animals in disasters since 1916, has set up a relief fund for rescuing animals. Donations help provide shelter and care.

You can keep up with American Humane Association developments on Twitter and Facebook.

For more information, please read CNNMoney's story explaining how donors should watch the crisis unfold before sending contributions. The article also provides tips on what to give, where to give and how to avoid scams.

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Filed under: 2011 tsunami • Animals • Earthquake • Japan • Natural Disasters • Tsunami • World
soundoff (219 Responses)
  1. kelly

    in my thoughts and prayers

    March 11, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
  2. See all thewouldbe immigrants

    yes.. Oddly as retail sales climb observe how many are seeking escape under any possible path. Are they coming back? What about the animals.. Who will take care of them? No one gives like america.

    March 11, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  3. See all the tea party goodness

    escape america.. Its a christian radicalized exodus. Lol

    March 11, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
  4. jimena

    how can I help,beside sending donations by txt message? I live in the caribbean,and I can provide shelter for the people affected.

    March 11, 2011 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Veronica

    How can we help from Mexico???

    March 11, 2011 at 5:22 pm | Report abuse |
  6. krissten

    i've been up for over 24hours, since this started & still watching it. breaks my heart to see this happening... i wishh i could do something to help. but as long as my prayers are sent up above♥ 😦
    - i think its time for a change. 11:11 – first waves.

    March 11, 2011 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Shannelle DeWitt

    Hi, i have been watching cnn and have been wanting to set up a fundraising for everyone that has been impacted. I live in florida and im 20 years old. and i always think what if this happened to me who would help. so can anyone help me get permission to help others who have been impacted , by this 8.9 earthquake and tsunami's

    March 11, 2011 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Reality

      Shannelle DeWitt... It was very inappropriate for you to list your phone number. Beware what you ask for! There are tons of con artists waiting to take advantage of you! If you want to help, call your local Red Cross or the US Dept of State or your US Senator.

      Screen your calls and do not release your personal information to anyone!!! Contact CNN to remove your phone number.

      March 12, 2011 at 12:58 am | Report abuse |
  8. Robert

    I am interested in volunteering over there, does anyone know who to contact for information on that?

    March 11, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Carol

      me too, how can I help?

      March 12, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Liliabella

    I am a high school student living in America. Is there anyway i can assist?

    March 11, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Damien

    Ive just done peadiatric first aid and am willing to go and assist were i can please could you let me know how to be a volunteer

    March 11, 2011 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Sparky

    I heard that the Red Cross keeps 98% of all donations for operating expenses. Is this correct ?

    March 11, 2011 at 9:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Angela

      Red Cross spends 4.4% on administrative expenses and 3.6% on fundraising expenses, according to Charity Navigator.

      March 13, 2011 at 3:22 am | Report abuse |
  12. candice

    I have family in Sendai. Let us know how we can assist the victims of this travesty.

    March 11, 2011 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
  13. mary mac

    What does a person with a tax lien + underwater mortgage do but feel more helpless/hopeless/powerless???? I don't know what to do... tell me, CNN. Write a check for $10? Maybe I should call the IRS, or my creditors who have earmarked my paycheck as their rightfully owned property, and tell them I have redirected their funds. Somehow, I don't think they would care a rats ass about anything. Bitter post of the day... Really... giving a check used to make me feel better when tragedy stuck but what can I do now but pray?

    March 11, 2011 at 9:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Diane

      Wow Mary, nice to know you can take a tragedy and make it all about you. Sure you have a lien and an underwater mortgage but you still have a house, right? You and/or your family hasn't been swept out to see or crushed under it, right? Sorry you're having hard times but CLEARLY there are people...oh...somewhere in the world...who have it WORSE right now.

      March 12, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • katherine

      you are responsible for your misfortune and your actions ...
      if you live full of problems now, believe me you will live worse for the rest of your life for being so insensitive to the misery and sorrow of others

      March 12, 2011 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Dee

    Im so confused wih who to trust with the organizations but no joke time is being waisted and our friends need us, someone help where I can donate and it will be put to use????

    March 11, 2011 at 10:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Reality

      Contact your US Senator's office for a list of organizations to donate to. The Red Cross is a very reputable organization and have always been available in natural disaster situations.

      March 12, 2011 at 1:01 am | Report abuse |
  15. Richard

    I had sent a comment here stating that Lions Clubs International has already sent $1.25 million for relief and and 100% donations made to Lions Club International will go to relief. Lions do not take administrative monies from donations. For some reason, CNN did not post my comment.

    March 11, 2011 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
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