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. Jason

    There's nothing wrong with making sure your money's actually getting to the intended victims but take the time to get it done. God (by whatever name) forbid, if something of this scale were to so devastatingly effect an equal percentage of OUR population, we'd sure want the help. It's time to put aside religious and political differences and remember that the victims of this tragedy are people with families, no different from us and ours.

    March 13, 2011 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Springs

      I think you are absolutely right! I just wish I could do more than send money right now, though...

      March 13, 2011 at 11:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ralf The Dog

      @ Springs, Anything other than money tends to get in the way. People going to the effected region, would just be more people who need to be fed and housed. You can help in future disasters here at home by taking Red Cross classes. The next time your town gets hit by a tornado, wild fires or a quake, you can be one of the people on the front lines.

      March 14, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Sleet

    Scams all of them.

    March 13, 2011 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Soma

    @velkyn: You are right. Whenever some tragedy happens and we start mobilizing people, groups, advertising for money, getting in touch with the web team, etc....these goons from churches coma along. They say they want to help...
    But most of the time WE end up paying them and benefiting their lily-livid cause.

    March 13, 2011 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
  4. bvilleyellowdog

    One good thing that will come from this horrible tragedy is that the idea of getting power from Nukes is DEAD.

    Yes CharityNavigator.org is very good. I always use it for any charity that I do not know personally.

    March 13, 2011 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
  5. clarke

    I want to help, but which is the best one so that the money goes to them.

    March 13, 2011 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ralf The Dog

      The Red Cross

      March 14, 2011 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  6. tet1953

    I gave money several times in the aftermath of Haiti, including the cell text method, Red Cross, etc. I was shocked and disappointed to learn that, a year later, most of that aid had yet to be distributed. Never again.

    March 13, 2011 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • wanna help

      Yep, so sad that it takes 100,000 of us giving our little $10 text contributions to cover the salaries of the top 2 execs at arc-totally disgusting

      March 14, 2011 at 11:13 am | Report abuse |
  7. Pamela

    How can i donate if I live in mexico?

    March 13, 2011 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ralf The Dog


      March 14, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Theresa

    God help them all! I will pray for them, and will give whatever I can. I know those people would pray for me, and they would give what they could to help. We are all people who need help. Forget politics, religion, we need to help them. We may need them next time.

    March 13, 2011 at 8:18 pm | Report abuse |
  9. John

    Can someone give aid for shelter by sending cruise ships and other like resources we posses to help the homeless and more orderly provide food and medical supplies

    March 13, 2011 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • JR

      "we posess"?? Who posesses these cruise ships? If the private companies want to send their cruise ships there, they can. But "we" do not posess any cruise ships that can be sent for lodging.

      Perhaps some our our navy flleet will be used for this purpose, but not privately-owned cruise ships.

      March 13, 2011 at 9:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ralf The Dog

      I am sure cruse ships can be rented with donated money.

      March 14, 2011 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Beth

      @ John ... That is what I was thinking too. The cruise ships would be great temporary shelter for many. Hopefully one of the companies will respond and show their generosity!

      March 16, 2011 at 2:41 am | Report abuse |
  10. dana


    Best of Breed – Charity Navigator approved.
    direct relief international . org

    March 13, 2011 at 8:40 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Robert J. Losurdo

    I went to CNN>Com/impact. Cant find how to donate money!!!

    March 13, 2011 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
  12. dave

    I'd like to go help in the cleanup and reconstruction. My company does general engineering (utilities, grading), as well as demo and recycle concrete crushing. The economy is still slow around most of No. California and I feel compelled to help
    without funds to spare. I believe we are all children of the same God, and, as such brothers and sisters. If this happened here, we'd be fixing broken water mains, gas lines, sewers, fixing roads and clearing rubble and trash. I hope that someone empowered gets back to me.

    March 13, 2011 at 8:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Laura

      Dave, that's awesome! I think maybe if you contact World Vision or even the Red Cross, they can put you on the right path to go and assist.

      March 14, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sanford

      I too Dave have the same beliefs as you do. We are all brothers and sisters of the same God. So I too would be willing to participate in the rescue and long term clean-up duties.Pay it forward and you will become very wealthy.

      March 14, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Bill

    You are a racist.

    March 13, 2011 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
  14. jqueen

    Have been unemployed for over a year but still have enough to help someone who is worse off than me. I think everything you do good or bad comes back to you so let's show the world that the USA is full of generous people who are always willing to help people in need. May GOD bless and help all those who need help and everyone who is trying to help.

    March 13, 2011 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Henrique


      March 13, 2011 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse |
  15. JR


    They have. Many countries have offered aid in the wake of our national disasters, especially Katrina. Our government, regardless of administration, typically does not accept it.

    March 13, 2011 at 9:46 pm | Report abuse |
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