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. jonathan

    im a volunteer fire fighter and in the army national guard, how can i help?

    March 11, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ashley

      I would contact your local armory and see if they are sending anyone... or have your fire department do a fund drive!

      March 11, 2011 at 9:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • nathaniel

      i have to think about the secrutiy keeping the peace and damage the life and property if police are not out

      March 12, 2011 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
    • gretchen

      One can also donate to UMCOR, United Methodist Committee on Relief, and be sure that 100% of your donation will go to those in need. Here is the website: new.gbgm-umc.org/umcor.

      March 12, 2011 at 11:11 pm | Report abuse |
  2. David

    Thank you for the information CNN and Jason. I just sent of those texts/Donations now.

    March 11, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Kiley

    Texts sent... Please continue to pray for the affected...

    March 11, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Saritaa

    Beside donation which I already did, are there any other ways to help them?

    March 11, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Carol Mager

      Hi Saritaa,
      Our prayers and love are so powerful we sometimes forget to use them, but they will be of infinite assistance now.

      March 12, 2011 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  5. Christina

    I am just an average working girl, but if you need help with anything please let me know how I can help. Whether it be by donation or going over there, I would love to volunteer somehow.

    March 11, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Maureen

    hey everyone, do NOT donate to global giving, and make sure you check the rankings of these funds before you donate. global giving is one of the lowest ranked charities!

    March 11, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Serena

      Good to know, thanks!

      March 11, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Donna @ GlobalGiving

      Maureen, I'm disappointed to see your comment. We work hard to get more funds to the ground than many organizations... Can you tell me what standard/rating you are referring to? We have a 3 star at charity navigator and have been rated by the Better Business Bureau's WIse Giving Alliance.

      March 11, 2011 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Donna @ GlobalGiving

      Maureen, I'm disappointed to see your comment. We work hard to get more funds to the ground than many organizations... Can you tell me what standard/rating you are referring to? We have a 3 star at charity navigator and have been rated by the Better Business Bureau's WIse Giving Alliance.

      March 11, 2011 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Karen

      I just ran the numbers on global giving and their administrative expenses were less than 6%, which is excellent for a non-profit of this size. I looked at a report from 2008 and they weren't there at the time. Now they are. I have no dog in this fight, but having worked for non-profit organizations for years, their admin costs are at an excellent level. I would give to them.

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

      Why you sugest that ? what we have to do now is HELP ! not fight. I can tell everybody: donate to the Red cross !

      March 12, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lee

      What a Horrible thing to live through. The People involved will need so much help of every kind. Anyone that knows of fraud charaties should post them like someone earlier did.

      March 12, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Eliott C. McLaughlin

      Hi Maureen, CNN vetted these charities before presenting them to our audience. Please check out GlobalGiving's performance at Charity Navigator, and I think you'll find it has a score comparable to that of the Red Cross. Just an FYI.

      March 13, 2011 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
  7. Fatuma

    just donated through Red Cross, prayers to those we are affected.

    March 11, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Melissa

    There's places to donate for people...but where can we donate to help the animals that were injured and left behind? They need help also, probably more so.

    March 11, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Koaten

      Good point. There probably won't be anything until months after and it'll probably just be a small community asking for donations.

      March 11, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bridgid

      The American Humane Association is taking donations for animals affected by this disaster. Visit http://www.americanhumane.org/

      March 11, 2011 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lauren

      The International Fund for Animal welfare (IFAW.org) will more than likely be sending people in to rescue animals. They accept donations on their website.

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

      I guess I can understand being an animal lover – but right now human suffering really is the most important thing to address. How can you prioritize an animal over another PERSON that is in such terrible pain and misery?

      March 12, 2011 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jacob

    I'm a student, however, I can do whatever is needed. I can go anywhere I'm needed

    March 11, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jacob

    I'm a student, however, I can do whatever is needed. I can go anywhere I'm needed.

    March 11, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Dale

    Excellent advise. The Red Cross is by far the best source to donate relief funds to especially in the cases of international crisis.

    March 11, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Peter Dybing

      Are you crazy or do you just not pay attention? The Red Cross received millions for Haiti Relief and have to date spent only a small part of it in Haiti. So sure go ahead and give them money, they will spend it someday.

      March 11, 2011 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • John Q

      Hey peter you have no truth or evidence just lie's go back to your bar or under your rock.

      March 13, 2011 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Chris

    I would be willing to go over and help...please contact with info @ rhsmasterc@aol.com

    March 11, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Kavita

    What else can I do besides monetary help? People in Sendai seemed to have lost everything they owned, what else can I donate? Please keep us informed. thank you!

    March 11, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
  14. melissa

    I would love to help in anyway needed,whether its donations or going over there.

    March 11, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Susan

    I am a stay at home wife and I would love to volunteer and go anywhere to help. Please let me know who to contact I can go asap

    March 11, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      I would go there and volunteer my time also. If someone responds to you ,let me know,I'm in NY.

      March 12, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
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