I was up late last Friday editing photos when I took a quick (guilty) break to check Twitter. That’s when I saw the first mention of what would be one of Japan’s greatest crises. Because my husband was already asleep, I opted not to turn on the TV and went instead to CNN’s live online streaming site to see the massive tsunami waves caused by a 9.0 earth-shifting quake. I sat in silence, sobbing to myself while feeling immensely grateful for the stable roof over my head and dry land beneath my feet.
Since then, the biggest emotion I’ve felt about the entire situation in Japan is helplessness. What could little ol’ me do to help? I’m not in a financial position nor a qualified position to hop on a plane and lend a helping hand in person. BUT, I can help in another way: by donating money, even if it’s a humble amount.
I’ve indirectly donated money to Japan by helping out my friend Layla, who was raising money for a medical operation before the quake hit. By the time I sent in my donation, Layla had reached her goal and decided any surplus would go to Japan.
But I knew more could be done.
I recently read about For Japan With Love, an informal group of bloggers rallying to raise funds to help ShelterBox aid more Japanese families.
ShelterBox was one of THE first organizations asked by Japan to help and were on hand on the Saturday after the quake. Each large, green ShelterBox is tailored to a disaster but typically contains a disaster relief tent for ten people, blankets, water storage and purification equipment, cooking utensils, a stove, a basic tool kit, a children’s activity pack and other vital items.
So please consider joining me today for a Blogger’s Day of Silence and taking the time you would use to blog about whatever it is you normally blog about, and go instead to the ShelterBox website and donate. The weather is bitter cold in Japan this time of year, and emergency shelter is essential for those displaced by the tsunamis. Each ShelterBox is $1,000, so by donating even a small amount, you are helping a group of ten or more Japanese people to find shelter and safety. You don’t really need that cup of Starbucks today, do you?
If you feel more comfortable donating to the Red Cross, you can make sure your donation to them is used for disaster relief in Japan by donating directly to the Japanese Red Cross. If you really have no money to spare, make an appointment to donate blood locally, and/or sign up for the National Marrow Donor Program. They’re both free, and save lives every day.
With ♥ For Japan,
~LeiLani of Elle Golden Photography