Posts Tagged ‘AmeriCares’

Your Giving and Crisis Response in Japan

Photo: AlertNet.org

Our instinct to reach out and help in times of crisis, like in the aftermath of today’s 8.9 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami that struck Japan, is laudable, but can result in misdirected and wasted money. Charity Navigator, the non-partisan survey of charitable organizations that rates them on effectiveness and transparency, has a list of ways to target your donations.

Some of the tips include:

*Avoid Newly-Formed Charities and give to an established organization that has worked in Japan.

*Designate Your Investment–specifically for earthquake relief in Japan.

*Do Not Send Supplies–systems will not yet be in place to appropriately receive and distribute them.

*Beware E-mail Solicitations.

*Think Before you Text–texting seems easy, but funds don’t always go where you wish they would…do your homework.

Some of the highest rated charities who are ready to respond and already moving into action in Japan are:

AMERICARES

SAVE THE CHILDREN

SHELTER BOX

INTERNATIONAL RESCUE COMMITTEE

Chilean Aid

This weekend’s 8.8 earthquake in Chile was 500 times more powerful than the one in Haiti, but thanks to the epicenter being further below ground, as well as the randomness of tectonic plates and building codes in Chile, it has resulted in fewer deaths (and we’re still talking about 700+ casualties with that number expected to rise).Villages and towns have been devastated, and resulting tsunami waves also took out some small coastal villages.

Where to donate our dollars can be daunting–we heard about so much fraud surrounding Haitian relief efforts. Google, in all it’s worldwide ubiquity (except, perhaps, in China with it’s censorship practices) very quickly established a Google Crisis Response page, and a newer feature that I fervently hope works as well as is intended: their Person Finder helps family and friends around the world get information about their loved ones in the disaster zone by wiki methods of user-generated information.

Additionally on the page are direct links to vetted aid organizations. A list of links (there are other direct donation methods made available on the Google Crisis page):  AmeriCares, Oxfam, Save the Children, World Vision (English), World Vision (Spanish), Un techo para Chile, the Chilean Red Cross, KSAR Chile, SOS Children’s Villages, Global Giving, ShelterBox, Habitat for Humanity, Operation USA.

Donor fatigue can set in with all the help needed around the world, but if you can help, please do