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. Lulu

    Is there an international number for donations?

    March 12, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Richard

    I am in the army reserve is there any way for me to give a helping hand?

    March 12, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jane

    I have visited CNN channel to get a different perspective of this terrible crisis and very concerned about it just like many others...

    In the middle of this, It's absurd how incredibly poorly the way certain anchor(s) are speaking..
    Frederika whitfield, in particular, she's all so happy and smiles what s wrong with you people working at
    She sounds all so American she should NOT do int'l news, maybe back to where she was, local entertainment or other stuff
    Can you take her OFF ??!

    March 12, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Joe Mickey

    A great deal of credit is being given to building regulations... Government keeping people a lot safer than the private sector.

    March 12, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jeffrey Moore

    how do i get over there to help....i have a little experince with things llike this as i was in the marines and spent time in bangladesh helping after the typhoon. i really would like to go there an lend a hand

    March 12, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Athzan

    I'm ready to volunteer my time, to go and help them. Is anyone know who to contact? God Bless the victims.

    March 12, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Ali-Turkey

    I am so sorry ! and I want to help them...

    March 12, 2011 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
  8. kendra

    yes, doctors without borders is assessing and sending help.Reputable and experienced medical teams being sent. I almost always contribute to their worldwide non-prejudicial humanitarian efforts and believe in their worth.

    March 12, 2011 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Viviana

    I'm the Commissioner of Community Service in my high school's ASB. I am looking for an organization that my high school can participate in. Any ideas?

    March 12, 2011 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Tammi

    Do they need blood donations?

    March 12, 2011 at 6:57 pm | Report abuse |
  11. N.I

    Thank you very much for your help and praying.

    I'm sorry that my English cannot express how I appreciate.

    March 12, 2011 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
  12. N.I

    Thank you very much for your help and praying.

    I'm sorry that my English cannot express how we appreciate.

    March 12, 2011 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Alexa

    I've been watching CNN since Friday to get the latest updates,what happened there is really catastrophic . . I wish they could send more rescue team to other areas near Sendai particularly "Fukushima" One of the member of our family is in there . .I'm just a student & it hurts me that I can't do anything to help . .all I can do now is pray . .

    March 12, 2011 at 8:07 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jon

    I'd help if I could but jobs out-sourced to other country's and billions of dollars in foriegn aid prevents me from being able to.

    March 12, 2011 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
  15. ElizabethC.

    I am just a student and I REALLY want to get my highschool involved to help..Is there some way we can donate supplys or is money our only opption.. this thing is really something I want to get involved with....I know my school would jump on the chance to help because its the right thing to do and also last year we had an exchange student from that area and everyone loves him and was relieved to hear that he made it okay to the montains along with his family..but its not so lucky for so many other people...so if there is anything my school and I can do to help more please let me know...

    March 12, 2011 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
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