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. Nikki

    I am in South Africa and Red Cross does not do Paypal donations, thus they can be done here http://paws-4-a-cause.org/ This in an organization backed by the IS Foundation. I would also love to be able to donate my time, but there isnt much info being provided in order to do so?

    March 13, 2011 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
  2. Gemma

    I'm just an average student living here in the UK. As well as donating I would gladly volunteer over there and help out any way I can.
    If anyone has any information please let me know!
    I feel so helpless just sitting here knowing people are suffering over there.

    March 13, 2011 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
  3. E.C COLLINS

    instead of we talking about money, let us see what the rescue team can do.cos when money are sent and they only found few survivals what about the remaining money.

    March 13, 2011 at 9:34 am | Report abuse |
  4. K R Bandara

    I really would like to assist these wonderful ,kind hearted people who helped my country during 2004 catastrophe. and they helped us immensely. I am in the military in Sri Lanka and would love to assist them in what ever capacities.
    I wish and pray them for quick recovery.

    March 13, 2011 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
  5. Dorothy Goodale

    My prayers and a donation for the people and animals during this sad time! God bless all who help!

    March 13, 2011 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
  6. Melquire

    Im a student how can i help?

    March 13, 2011 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
  7. Raphael

    Always wanna help out.
    So just send me a message when you need help....

    March 13, 2011 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
  8. Skrilla Gorilla

    I'd like to help, but I gotta get paid. Know what I'm sayin? I gotta have a job. Does the red cross pay?

    March 13, 2011 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Anonymous

    Are there any children in need of adoption

    March 13, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Norio

    I am a retired engineer, having worked on many nuclear power plants around the world. I actually worked on Fukushima Unit #2, which is next to the troubled Unit 1. I am wondering, why can't they provide emergency power to the plant from the naval ship USS Reagan. Our Navy has many such capabilities. My dad was in the Army and once when we were living in Okinawa and all the island's power was knocked out by typhoon, the Navy brought in a floating power plant – we called it USS Neversail, since it could generate all that power but wasn't designed to propel itself and had to be towed wherever it was needed to supply emergency power. It may still exist in our Pacific fleet.

    March 13, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  11. JohnnyB

    I am a college student in Michigan. There's only so much I can donate, money-wise, but I would like to get other students and friends involved in a fundraiser perhaps or just to donate anything that is needed i.e. clothing, food, water.... is there any organizations, locally, where we could donate such items or proceeds to?

    March 13, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scrantonian

      Not really. Most charities don't want physical items because then they have to gather, ship, and re-distribute them. You're better off soliciting monetary donations or soliciting larger in-kind donations from businesses that can deliver them.

      March 13, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • bvilleyellowdog

      Don't send stuff send money.

      March 13, 2011 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rae Wood

      JohnnyB – If you like, your local Red Cross Chapter can work with you to hold a fundraiser. It's just one of many options.

      March 14, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kent O.

      The L.D.S. Church web site LDS.Org will direct you to several ways to help.. No red tape or expenses just help..

      March 14, 2011 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Heidi

      I'm assuming that local food banks in your area probably send some of those goods to the cause. Contacting a local workforce or foodbank in your area would have some info. You can always start your own funds raiser too and dontate the items to Red Cross who I'm sure would have them delivered 🙂

      March 15, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • TJ

      I donated after the Haiti quake, but one year later and only 10% of the rubble had been removed and people are still living in make shift tents. Where did all the donations go???

      March 20, 2011 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Beth

    @velkyn now is not the time or place to start an distasteful attack on religion

    March 13, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Beth

    check out charitynavigator.org- they give accurate stats backed up by financial statements filed with the government and show you where your money goes when you donate

    March 13, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  14. smc

    What Beth said is 100% right. Use a site like CharityNavigator.org and find charities that put around 90%+ of their donations into actual program use. Then you'll know your donation dollars are not being wasted on advertising and administrative expenses.

    March 13, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  15. HATTIE

    iI CAN ONLY MAIL PAYMENTS. WHERE CAN I MAIL TO RED CROSS?

    March 13, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Leslie

      Give them a call and they will tell you where to send donations: 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767)

      March 14, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
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