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. Henrique


    March 13, 2011 at 10:43 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Henrique


    March 13, 2011 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Richard

    where is my post? lol.

    March 13, 2011 at 10:46 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Lexy

    I'm only fifteen, so I don't have much to offer. How can I physically do more? I wish I could go over there to help. But I dont think they'd send a teenager, even if she has a parent come too.

    March 13, 2011 at 10:50 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Richard

    why isnt this thing working?

    March 13, 2011 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Richard

    I am currently enlisted in the army reserves as 68M (nutrition care specialist) in a CSH . What can I do?

    March 13, 2011 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Megan

      My husband is a enlisted army 12b...He asked the samething, so did i for anything even helping rebuild but we can not find nowhere to go to help out, all they seem to want his donations! Not spare arms!!

      March 14, 2011 at 1:05 am | Report abuse |
    • BobC

      I would recommend contacting your unit , and asking if volunteers are needed. I have no idea if they are able to "activate" reserve members to go, but someone in your chain of command should know. Try the most senior chaplain you can find if your unit doesn't have any clue.

      March 14, 2011 at 2:28 am | Report abuse |
  7. Allie

    sending money is helping. But it doesnt really feel like helping though. If there were some other physical way to help i think more people would get involved and it would kick start a faster recorvery, also people would realize the joy in helping and star putting thier services to use in thier communty and improve the condition of thier city overall.

    March 13, 2011 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Rose

    Do you have any idea how many different countries came to our aid? The amount of money donated was unbelievable! Why do we think we as Americans are the only ones who can be generous. Even countries who are not our friends donated such very generous sums to us. I was very humbled by their generosity.

    March 13, 2011 at 11:40 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Elisha

    I pray for all those and their families that were affected by this tragic event. I pray for their health for food to feed the hungry shelter for the homeless and for everyone to find their lost loved ones.

    March 13, 2011 at 11:47 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Deidara

    Hey hey, charity arent crooks, they are actually helping in the people in this world.

    March 13, 2011 at 11:49 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Megan

    I wish I could go over there help with anything from cleaning up to helping rescue to rebuilding, god bless everyone over htere

    March 14, 2011 at 1:00 am | Report abuse |
  12. robert robertson ca.

    God love,s all of you ,help is on the way and everything is going to be ok.

    March 14, 2011 at 3:53 am | Report abuse |
  13. Mo Rainault

    I live in Vermont and have lots of room for a family/families, whom would I contact to offer lodging?

    March 14, 2011 at 6:09 am | Report abuse |
    • the quilter

      I made this same offer yesterday. I do not see my post though. I would like to know the same thing.

      March 14, 2011 at 8:19 am | Report abuse |
  14. the quilter

    I put out a post yesterday. Where did it go?

    March 14, 2011 at 8:17 am | Report abuse |
  15. Starman

    A lot of people seem to feel the need to physically participate. This is an overwhelming disaster and compassionate feeling run high. I don’t think they want or can accommodate any people coming in, that would further strain their very limited resources. The people they want are specialists in disaster recovery and they are already there or on the way. Contributions to trusted charitable organization that are set up to best direct the funds where they can be most useful.

    March 14, 2011 at 8:44 am | Report abuse |
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