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. Rev. Linda Kraft

    100% of donations made to Lutheran Disaster Relief through the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America go directly to people in need. NO administrative costs are taken from what you donate. 100% goes directly where it's needed. To donate now, contact https://community.elca.org/NetCommunity/SSLPage.aspx?pid=631

    March 14, 2011 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
  2. Maharishi Swami Poobah

    Please help if you can. People are dying.

    March 14, 2011 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
  3. ellie

    i am a college student in florida and i really want to help.... i dont have money to give but ill do other things...

    March 14, 2011 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Annunaki

    Cnn, what are you doing with the comments that are removed from this site, are they accessable? Are you afraid THE PEOPLE will find out the truth? WE DESERVE THE TRUTH ABOUT WHAT IS NEXT!!!!!!!!

    March 14, 2011 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
  5. luannewolf

    I realize that the banks are not going to disclose this fact, but people should know that 1% – 4% of each and every charitable donation made online, because it is made with a credit card, goes to the VISA/Mastercard consortium as their transaction fee – not to the people that the donors thought they were helping. There should be a law that this fact be disclosed to charitable donors.

    March 14, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Ralf The Dog

    I can't wait for the local sushi places to hold a Red Cross Fundraiser. All the vegetarian Sushi you can eat with the money going to a good cause. What could be better?

    March 14, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Naajidah

    i pray that all those who are affected will get help soon...the devestation caused is unbeleivable,it makes me think twice about life,at how it could change within a blink of the eye...GOD save us

    March 14, 2011 at 2:06 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Sats

    You are welcome not to donate. Pls do not discourage people who want to donate. All charities are not bad

    March 14, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  9. chad petesen

    i would like to know how i can get there and help these people in need i would do anything to help the people in need and ity doesnt matter what is praise the lord of the who survived and my those who rest in peace .someone let me no please..by email legalizeournation@yahoo.com

    March 14, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  10. beckey

    I think U are right all relief funds are crooks. Red Cross , Childerns fund EXT .Now who do we trust to get help where it is neede. The Valchers of the world has lifted there ugly heads but people are still hurting.I wll pray for them but right know they need someont to realy help , NOT JUST TALK!! any help out there????

    March 14, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Maureen Borinski

      I can tell you from personal experience I would never give a dime to the Red Cross, but would give all to Salvation Army.
      The Red Cross spends so much to support their executives it's sickening. They would only offer us, at the time PFC & family burned out of home, a "grant", in other words a loan. None of my money goes to the Red Cross. if I could give my blood to another organization I would!! They even now charge you if you want to directly donate a pint of blodd to a person!

      March 15, 2011 at 12:41 am | Report abuse |
  11. Randy Anderson

    I have no mmoney to send, our to get a plan ticket, but I am a Builder, I use green to build with, all the junk laying around I see homes, I can build wood fired ovens, that one fire, can cook for hours and hours, if there is away for me to get there, I could help in more way them any money I could send.
    please help me get there
    thank you for your help and anything, that you may do to help me help them.
    Randy J, Anderson
    I all so have 25 years in seismic explorations

    March 14, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Harold

    The victims of these disasters need water... not just a bottle of water given out at some drop-off point, but access to fresh
    water. Sending bottles involves a big airlift. Once the bottle is empty, what happens to it? It either becomes litter, or it's used to store water that is not clean. That leads to illness. What would work is to send something that will purify the water that's already there. I saw something on Ted.com a year or so ago. The Lifesaver bottle is a personal water filter that in in use in Haiti right now. Here's the link:
    You can see for yourself how this works. After that it's jus a matter of how to get these filters to these people.
    Sending these filters would lessen the crowding that always happens at refugee camps.

    March 14, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Harold

    The victims of these disasters need water... not just a bottle of water given out at some drop-off point, but access to fresh
    water. Sending bottles involves a big airlift. What would work is to send something that will purify the water that's already there. I saw something on Ted.com a year or so ago. Lifesaversystems.com has a personal water filter that in in use in Haiti right now. Here's the link

    March 14, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Aaron Webb

    IF YOU WANTED TO HELP AND you don't have funds and you wanted to earn something, check out my site at http://www.roiunlimited.com/awebbamazing-tour.php. IT'S CALLED RETURN ON INTEGRITY!

    March 14, 2011 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Phillip

    donate! ya right ur crazy! the way i look at it is that they just raise our taxes and we are going to have to pay for it. and you say donate! no way in hell i am!!!!!!! hell they own are asses now! i say bring the jobs to us now and let them clean it up. weres thier goverment at????

    March 14, 2011 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
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