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AdLib On March - 16 - 2011

(image from and for Japanese Red Cross: http://www.jrc.or.jp/english/relief/l4/Vcms4_00002070.html )

Thanks to 2ndClassCitizenPundit for suggesting that we use our citizen’s think tank here to discuss and determine the best ways we can help those in Japan who are in the midst of such tragedy and hardship.

We can list existing charities and organizations as well as discuss direct actions we can organize here at The Planet.

Input from Kalima and WhatsThatSound would be invaluable. Sharing news reports and other information that helps inform us of what the needs are and what can be done to address them would be appreciated.

To begin with an initial proposition, it might be best to focus on addressing a specific need so that a particular need gets enough total resources to really help (as opposed to contributions being spread thin in many directions and possibly less effective). Again, this is only a suggestion, the purpose of this post is to bring the membership together to brainstorm on how we can best help those in Japan.

Thank you.

Written by AdLib

My motto is, "It is better to have blogged and lost hours of your day, than never to have blogged at all."

83 Responses so far.

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  1. whatsthatsound says:

    Here is my friend, Michael Spencer, formerly first fiddle for the London Philharmonic. He is heading up a project to aid quake victims, called Play for Japan. You can watch a couple videos they have made so far. I’ll try to find out more about this.

    http://www.youtube.com/user/PlayforJapan

  2. whatsthatsound says:

    Kes, everyone, here’s the letter (with information) from my friend Katrina about rescuing animals in Japan:

    My name is Katrina Larsen and I am working with Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue and Support (JEARS) to help co-ordinate rescue efforts. You can imagine the daunting task we have and so I ask for your understanding in that this mail has been forwarded to me to attend to.

    JEARS is a coalition formed by Japan Cat Network, Animal Friends Niigata and HEART, Tokushima.

    To make a donation go to;

    http://japanearthquakeanimalrelief.chipin.com/japan-earthquake-animal-rescue-and-support

    From here click on the orange box that says “ChipIn”. The page you will go to is in English and you can follow instructions there.

    Following is a list of homepages for the three organizations that comprise JEARS;

    http://www.heart-tokushima.com/WELCOME

    http://angelswithfurjapan.wordpress.com/category/organizations/animal-friends-niigata/

    http://www.japancatnet.com/

    Please find the JEARS Facebook page here;

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Japan-Earthquake-Animal-Rescue-and-Support/207835229228979

    Thank you so much for your support and understanding at this difficult time.

    Kind regards,

    Katrina Larsen
    JEARS

    • escribacat says:

      WTS — I went to make a donation on the JEARS page by credit card and the page was in Japanese so I couldn’t figure out which buttons to click to do a credit card payment! Any suggestions?

      • whatsthatsound says:

        Hi e-cat. Thank you! Did you get to the page that has “Heart” written on the left side in English? On that page you can switch over from Japanese to English. Above the bar, on the opposite (right) side of the page from “Heart”, just click on those light blue Japanese characters that are underlined. A drop box will then appear which will have “English” as an option. I think that should do it, but let me know.

    • escribacat says:

      Thanks, wts. I will chip in for this group. I’ve also posted the link to my greyhound rescue group.

    • kesmarn says:

      Thanks so much for posting the info, WTS!

  3. whatsthatsound says:

    Adlib, everyone here. This is from my friend, A, whose missives I’ve been publishing. I asked her if she needed anything, if I should pass the hat for her, and this was her reply:

    “Hello My Dear Friend,

    You are unbelievably thoughtful. Thank you so much.

    I think any form of assistance would be greatly appreciated, not for me, but for others. If you would like to set up a collection system, that would be great. There are people all over town taking collections. So, I can add whatever you send to that.

    I myself need nothing. I am with very kind, loving, generous friends. That is both my lifeline and my inspiration. We have enough food for now. And we are warm enough. We have an electric heater and very thick blankets. We wear coats and hats all the time. Since none of us is taking baths and we wear the same clothes all the time, there is no problem for us with clothing. People in shelters could use some, though. They are such incredibly brave people.

    I have lost nothing besides my house. Hopefully another suitable one will turn up soon. Then I will be able to move and start over again. Now I come to this very wobbly shack to pack up stuff, hoping I can do so and move before it decides to collapse completely!! I also do e-mail here.

    Thank you again so much for your thoughtfulness. It is greatly appreciated.”

    So, if the POV team would be interested in creating a separate fund for her to administer (and only administer, so that it reaches the right people) I can get in touch with her and work something out, I’m sure.

    • Kalima says:

      I can send to her directly from here wts, just call or email me with the details, only be too happy to help. Also with your friend doing the wonderful job of animal rescue, the thought of the helpless animals that survived there has cost me many a sleepless night as I hold my tribe close to me.

      • whatsthatsound says:

        Thanks, Kalima. I’ll send you the information from Katrina, with Animal Rescue Kansai, by email. As for A, I’ll wait to see if we create a POV fund, I think. She says she personally doesn’t need anything, so I’ll wait until that’s sorted out (fund or no fund) before deciding. She’s only sporadically on email, so I’d like to consolidate information.

        You have such a big heart, Kalima!

        • kesmarn says:

          If I may horn in here, WTS, I’d love to explore the POV fund further. To be able to help the affected people and the animals more directly would be wonderful. I await further info — eagerly.

          • whatsthatsound says:

            Kes, indeed, horn in! If nothing else develops, I’ll at least send the information Katrina sent me about donating to help the animal rescue. I’ll put it up top, so please return to this page!
            You’re wonderful!

        • Kalima says:

          Ok let me know what information you have and I’ll be on it.

          About your last sentence, hubby would say that I have a much bigger mouth on me, but my words are never meant to inflict any harm, I’m just the Earth Mother type.

          • whatsthatsound says:

            will do, Kalima, and thanks.
            If your mouth is bigger than your heart, then we can probably talk without using the telephone.

            • Kalima says:

              I didn’t say that I could shout that loud, but I do tend to mumble under my breath a lot or so I’m told, and sometimes scramble to get the last word in, hence the alleged “mumbling” I suppose. 😉

  4. whatsthatsound says:

    passing this on: American family asks for support in asking State Dept. to continue search for daughter who has gone missing, Miyagi Prefecture
    http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=196885183676655&ref=ts

    • wts: How are you doing? Still packing just in case? How is Rosie?

      • whatsthatsound says:

        Hi 2CCP, still hanging in there. Another house shaker last night. First in about 48 hours now. No change, but an offer from a friend in Fukuoka that we can stay with him if need be. Like I wrote earlier, one of my friends has actually headed TO Sendai, from Tokyo to help with animal rescue efforts. Her name is Katrina. Whereas for most Americans that name can only recall a great tragedy, because I know her it means something else, almost the opposite, in fact. Heroism and Healing.

  5. Truth says:

    In case there are other people like me who can only pay online via internet banking, here’s what I found:

    http://www.sfs.org.sg/page.php?id=japandisaster2011#donations

    Monetary Donations -- directly to Japan

    Individuals and private companies can also directly remit their donations by choice in support of:
              1. Disaster victims
                Name of Bank: Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation

                Name of Branch: Ginza
           
    Account No. : 8047670 (Ordinary Account)
           
    Swift Code: SMBC JP JT
           
    Payee Name: The Japanese Red Cross Society
           
    Payee Address: 1-1-3 Shiba-Daimon Minato-ku, Tokyo JAPAN
                *If you need a receipt, please make a remark on the payment slip.
   

           2.  The Japanese Red Cross Society for their rescue activities in this disaster
              Name of Bank: Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation
           
    Name of Branch: Ginza
           
    Account No. : 8047705 (Ordinary Account)
           
    Swift Code: SMBC JP JT
           
    Payee Name: The Japanese Red Cross Society
           
    Payee Address: 1-1-3 Shiba-Daimon Minato-ku, Tokyo JAPAN  
    *If you need a receipt, please make a remark on the payment slip.


    Sorry, the text got a bit jumbled, but I know how glad I was to find the information, and maybe it is as useful to others as it was to me.

  6. KarateKid says:

    As some of you know, I am a Japanese American, and have a Japanese wife. We both have family in Japan, and thanks to the largesse of AT&T, who is only charging us minutes but no roaming charge, we’ve been able to call frequently and have spoken to our relatives and loved ones.

    All but one are fine. The one family that is missing lived in Kamaishi, about 100 miles north of Sendai. They owned a fish cannery and their home was a short walk away. Being that close to the sea, both their home and factory was swept away by the tsunami and we cannot find them. We have not given up hope, but hope is waning.

    My other relatives tell an interesting story, far different than the near hysterical MSM in this country.

    My cousin is 74 years old. She was having lunch on the 28th floor of a high rise in Ikebukuro, a Tokyo suburb, when the earthquake hit. She told me it was the worst earthquake she had been through in her life. That is saying something.

    But, things are fine. Ikebukuro is on a different power grid than the rest of Tokyo, and she has not had any power blackouts. The convenience stores’ shelves are empty, but she says the department stores are filled with food so she has had no trouble. Because the train service is limited, she said it actually helps people in her neighborhood since very few people are going to the department store, Seibu, in Ikebukuro. They have filled their bathtub just in case; her biggest fear is not radiation (her family has been scanned 4-5 times) but another earthquake.

    My wife and I don’t have much money to spare, but we made a donation to the Red Cross to help the victims. All of my relatives that I have spoken to have done so, also. We thought that would be the best way.

    I only hope my relatives in Kamaishi are all right. They were very nice to me when I was a kid. The lesson here is to tell your loved ones how you feel, give them a hug, you never know when it will be the last time. Sorry for the long winded comment but this really hits home.

    • Artist50 says:

      KK I often followed you on HP, in fact I think you are the one that lead me here. My prayers for your missing family. How hard this must be to see your homeland so devastated but I must say I am so impressed with the grace and resilience of your people.

      • KarateKid says:

        Thanks. The Japanese are a tough people, with great inner strength and resolve. It comes from a history of suffering, from natural disasters like fires, earthquakes and war.

        Sadly, there will be a lot of people who will go missing, the ones who were swept out to sea. I’m beginning to think that’s what happened to my aunt and cousins.

        I’m glad you came here, I was still recruiting today. People miss the Friday night music when we’d take over an open blog so I told them all to come here.

    • whatsthatsound says:

      Good hearing from you, KK. I’m here in Tokyo, and speak Japanese, so let me know if there is something I can do from closer by to help you get in touch with anyone.

      • KarateKid says:

        Thank you, my friend. You are in our thoughts. Can you give me any info on radiation in Tokyo? My relatives don’t seem to be that concerned, but the hysteria here is really something.

        My relative in Ikebukuro said the building she was in swayed to the point where she thought it would fall over, but after one hour they were able to get out of there.

        Where in Tokyo do you live? And, does Kalima also live in Tokyo?

        • whatsthatsound says:

          Yes, Kalima also lives in Tokyo, in Aoyama (Shibuya-ku or Minato-ku, I think). I live in Setagaya-ku, near the Tama river which demarcates Tokyo and Kanagawa.
          Radiation levels are as yet no cause for alarm, well below anything that would affect the many millions living here, though of course pregnant women and small children are a greater concern. Kalima has been much better than I at getting information out.
          Thank you for your kind thoughts, my friend and tomodachi!

          • KarateKid says:

            Tama-gawa, what nostalgia. I used to go fishing there with my grandfather.

            • whatsthatsound says:

              It’s changed a lot, but still lots of people fish there. It’s a beautiful part of Tokyo, the river offers a respite to hyper busy Tokyoites.

          • KarateKid says:

            I just got off the phone with two more relatives, and they said they are focusing on getting back to as normal as they can. They’re not particularly worried about radiation and they sounded very confident that things would eventually get back to normal.

            Well, it’s kind of a helpless feeling but my thoughts are with you all.

    • escribacat says:

      So sorry to hear about your missing relatives, KK. And I’m so glad the others are fine. And you’re right what you said about the MSM coverage — they’re irresponsibly creating hysteria.

      • KarateKid says:

        I had to get away from HP for awhile, people are hysterical, especially the anti nuclear crowd. rich misty, who was the first person I ever fanned, is going off the deep end and sowing a lot of fear. I’m sure you read some of that.

        We haven’t given up hope for the four family members who are missing. I called my cousin a little while ago and still no word.

        • Caru says:

          Rich misty is going bonkers. But when I engaged them, they reverted back to normal in some replies.

          I think the trolls may be getting to them.

          • KarateKid says:

            Rich was the first person I ever fanned there and I respect his opinions. But I agree, he’s gone over the top, with his relentless reposting of the same thing, scaring people.

        • Kalima says:

          KK, sorry about your family members that are missing, not giving up hope is the right thing to do. There are almost 30,000 shelters scattered throughout the worst affected areas, and in many, phone connections are either still not working or scarce. Exactly who is in which shelter can’t be reported yet, because the numbers have been increasing, there is every chance that your relatives could be in an out of the way shelter without much communication.

          About the radiation levels, don’t believe a word you read in the fear mongering foreign press, they have their anti-nuclear agendas and are milking it for all it’s worth. What you read in yours, and what is reported here, is like the difference between black and white. The plant moved the number up to 5 yesterday because of what could happen at the plant, and it doesn’t mean that levels of radiation have gone up on the outside. Yesterday as I posted in my MB, 10,000 people evacuated from the area nearest to the plant were tested for radiation fallout, not one had anything on their clothes or on their skin.

          The guys at the plant are moving forward, they have made progress, you won’t find that in your main stream media. I update MB every morning with stories from the English version of the main newspapers here, if you have time, please come to read the links about what actually is happening, it might put your mind at ease

          My best wishes and prayers for your family members.

          • KarateKid says:

            Domo arigato, Kalima, and I’m relieved that you are well. And, thanks for the info. The people in this country are really beginning to annoy me. I guess fear sells.

            My relatives say much the same thing, they are trying to live as normally as they can, and not letting things get to them. The term shikataganai is one that I commonly hear, and that is a good sign, very Japanese, who deal with things much better than Americans.

            People over in the other place think I’m nuts for reporting stuff like that, but they can wallow in fear for all I care.

            I’ll be coming back for your updates, very informative. Thanks so much.

            • Kalima says:

              Doitashimashite KK, and don’t give up yet, the people in the shelters still looking for loved ones are not giving up yet, so there is hope. Once the confusion settles, we will know more, but the damage to the roads was enormous, and the government’s slow response deserves resignation on their part. In one of the stories on MB yesterday, it said that the government has just been sitting on gasoline, and a law that forbids trained self defense rescue teams from making helicopter aid drops, I almost hit the roof.

              The quake was huge, I thought it was the end, our house is 30 years old, but still standing. Tokyo has power cuts, hardly any train service and no gasoline, it looks like China used to look when everyone used bicycles. Panic buying here has led to many shortages, we are sitting tight until the panic is over.

              As wts said, if there is anything we can do to help, just drop a line on MB. Word of advice, don’t watch your news, my relatives in Germany and the U.K. have been driving me crazy because of what is in the papers there. I love them dearly, but have stopped answering the phone because we are not panicking here, life goes on, it has to even though we are very sad. I hope that you will get some good news soon, I’ll be putting up updates by 5 a.m. EST. Take care.

        • Redemption Song says:

          Greetigns KK.

          I don’t go to HuffPo often, and during the few times that I do, I don’t usually read the comments; however, earlier today aspiecelia had this to say (which is welcomed):

          “Your lead story is misleading­. Part of the situation has been rated five, yet other parts are a three. The government of Japan admitted they were overwhelme­d days ago and were asking for help, where were you then? Anyone who thinks it odd they are overwhelme­d right now is clueless. A major earthquake­, a devastatio­ng Tsunami, a nuclear accident and then another major earthquake occur and you are trying to blame them for not being able to handle it, really! Remember our country couldn’t even handle Katrina. Your website is deteriorat­ing into a seething pool of sensationa­lizing hype.”

          Here’s hoping you hear from your family soon.

          Best wishes to you and yours,
          --Redemption

          • KarateKid says:

            Hi there. You’re right, the hyperbole is getting on my nerves. It might be time for another break from that zoo. You can’t even have intelligent discussions with all the trolls and hysterical people, on both sides of the aisle. The anti nuclear crowd is particularly getting annoying, trying to sow fear.

            Thanks for your greetz and sentiments.

  7. Just found out that Seth Green was asking people to forego the usual St. Paddy’s day binge, and give the money they would have spent on booze to Japan relief efforts instead.

    Don’t know how I missed that.

    Can’t find a link, this was reported by web-comic artist “Mookie”.

  8. A group of comics (no, not comedians) professionals, writers and artists, online and print, have banded together to gather donations for Japan relief.

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1932174840/japan-needs-heroes

  9. foodchain says:

    I have felt incompetent--feelings too large, abilities too small. What concerns me is their inability to move anything. Waterways blocked by debris, roads destroyed. I want to buy a thousand toothbrushes, toothpaste, toilet paper, canned goods. I just want it to get there.

    Maybe we find someone with a helicopter to drop care packages--kinda kidding.

  10. One of my favorite sites is gathering donations for Japan relief. If you like comic books or are an RPG gamer, you may recall that they did a donation drive for Haiti, working with Doctors Without Borders, giving away for free hundreds of their products, donated by the publishers, in exchange for a $10 donation.

    http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product_info.php?products_id=89298

    I am not sure that there is anything being given away this time, but this is a way to donate. As those in the RPG community can tell you, us RPGers are usually not well-regarded, but this also helps prove that we’re just not dorks in our parents’ basements.

    My partner just informed me that the online MMORPG, Legends of Dragons, is selling ribbons (for online use only) to support Japan relief efforts for about three dollars.

    http://www.warofdragons.com/

    Gaia Online, an online social network and game site, is also taking donations. The online shop has three different items for your character to wear, all proceeds go to Japan relief. (if your kids play on Gaia, this is a way to give them a gift and donate at the same time)

    http://www.gaiaonline.com/

    • Truth says:

      Pundit, do you know any where I can donate via online banking? I haven’t had the time to check this out. Preferably something for children.

      • Call your local branch to see if they are collecting donations, for one. When I worked for the Bank-Which-Must-Not-Be-Named, they did that all the time.

        As far as for children specifically… I would check with local fraternal orders, like Elks, Moose, Masons, etc., or with churches with a heavy emphasis on children’s charities.

        Not sure what you might mean as far as “online banking”. If you mean wire-transfer, most charities shy away from the very mention of it, as there is too much fraud being committed that way.

        • Truth says:

          I can only make a donation by e-banking, that is transferring directly from my account to the account of the recipient. If you come across anything, please let me know. It seems not to be very common though. But I have no credit card and no pay pal

          • Contact your bank about that, to see if they can transfer to USAID or some other organization, or if they are collecting money in a special account.

            Many banks will set up special accounts to do this, for specific causes or needs. My ex-employer did so for local residents who had been burned out of their houses, to pay for operations for children with cancer, etc.

            If your bank has not done this… Suggest they do so. If they say no, go up the chain of command. Most banks have an “Office of the President” (my ex-employer had the “Office of the Vice-President”), ask to be connected to that office. Don’t let them off the phone until it is done.

            Remember, the squeaky wheel gets the oil. So SQUEAK!

    • (pout) You beat me to it.

      It’s actually a very good point. By pooling the money given, you can buy more at a bulk price, and this allows input from experts on Japan to buy items that would not be culturally offensive or items that the Japanese could not use or would not use.

      • KQuark says:

        Yes and goods are only good, no pun intended if they can be shipped in by truck or boat when they come from people nearby who know what they need. There were always cloth, food and water drops around FL where they shipped them after hurricanes and it was helpful because people knew what to send.

        Shipping random goods a continent away just makes for wasted goods.

      • For America and Roosevelt says:

        Ouch, I got it from a White House or Barackobama.com email today ( not personal ones :) ), no commentary intended!

  11. You can donate old cellphones for charity as well. Unusable cellphones are recycled safely.

    http://www.recyclewirelessphones.com/

  12. Think about talking to your employer about starting a drive for personal hygiene items, or starting a donation drive to buy bulk items (or both!).

    If you have connections in your community (or even if you are known as a crank, people might just agree to shut you up), talk to local businesses about starting a drive for donated goods. Even places like Walmart will do such things, and your local Red Cross can usually coordinate getting the items donated to where they need to go. Even my local Dollar Tree is encouraging people to donate food items for the homeless.

    Consider doing a *real* drive, using a truck to go to neighborhoods to canvass for donations. Some people may not be able to get out much (or may not want to take the time), but may have some items to donate.

    Do not donate items from your cupboard “that have been sitting there forever”. This is not spring cleaning, and it isn’t a dump run. Basic staples, such as veggies, grains, etc., are very important.

    Try to keep in mind that this is a different culture. Japanese citizens, especially those in rural areas, may not have any idea what to do with cranberry sauce or canned yams.

    I am reminded of a woman who tried to donate sushi packaged by a local grocery store, for a Katrina relief drive. We at the office joked about it being “uncooked gumbo”.

    Many donation drives will emphasize feminine hygiene products, which is all well and good (please make sure they are still in the package). But men are affected to. Consider grabbing a bag of disposable razors and adding it to the pile.

    Run (don’t walk) to your local dollar store. You can get quite a bit of small, necessary items for low cost.

    And don’t think just in terms of necessities. Five dollars at the dollar store would buy five small plush animal toys which would brighten the day of five children (more if they share). A small bottle of cologne or a decorative candle could cheer up someone as well. A friend of mine donated a bag of “birthday party favor” tiaras (along with three bags of groceries).

    Look around your home. Chances are, you have items that you rarely use that would make life better for those in need. Sleeping bags, heavy jackets, sweaters, air mattresses, camp stoves (two small propane tanks are less than $5 at Wal-mart), coloring books, crayons, baskets (great for holding the belongings of a family in a shelter), flip-flops (shower shoes), toothbrushes (how many does your guest bathroom really need?), sheets, blankets, etc.

    Another good idea is to donate packages of note cards, note paper, small envelopes, pencils, and pens. Many of these people may need to contact relatives to let them know they are okay, or write down directions to relief workers so that family members can be checked on.

    Trial size hygiene items will go a long way, and chances are you might be able to get a local business to donate a full case (especially if you embarrass them by asking if you can buy it out of pocket). A package of t-shirts or socks doesn’t cost that much and would benefit more than one person; in the US, the thrift store Savers usually has large packs of these for a very low price.

    Your local pharmacy’s “other” section might have items like travel pillows on sale as well. You might be able to talk the manager to match your purchase for a donation, doubling the benefit.

    Don’t donate your ratty, discarded clothes. If you won’t wear them, chances are that others won’t be very appreciative either. Instead, contact the Red Cross, Salvation Army, or Goodwill. These charities bale up unusable clothes and other fabric goods to turn into those felt-like “emergency blankets” they hand out during fires or natural disasters (which should come with a label “DO NOT WASH -- may disintegrate in the washer”).

    Not all of us have money or extra to donate. But we do have time. Call your local charities and offer to cover the phones for them, or to help make calls scaring up donations.

    The biggest items you can donate is your time and your voice. Speak up. Whether in the line at the grocery store or at Bible study, speak up and talk to others about what is needed. Talk to your pastor, your boss, your Congressman, your mayor, etc.

    Speaking of which, if your town has a “sister city” in Japan, you have great blackmail material there. Use it! Get info in how your sister city is faring, and start calling your local paper and government!

  13. coffeegod says:

    I went with Doctors Without Borders. There isn’t a specific fund for Japan but they are there, working hard. A big plus for me is an A rating, over 80% of donations go to relief efforts and the director’s salary is $100k as opposed to many other charities where the director makes 300k+ a year.

    http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/donate/overview.cfm


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