The devastation from the March 11th earthquake and tsunami is extensive, heartbreaking, with death tolls still in the unspecified tens of thousands. Over 350,000 people lost their homes in the disaster, and four days later the world still watches with breath held as the Japanese fight to contain significant failures at a nuclear power plant.
There are many ways to aid those struggling through this disaster. Following are some TisBest charity partners already acting in various ways to help the Japanese people.
American Humane Association,'s Red Star Animal Emergency Services teams are ready to deploy to care for and rescue the animals impacted by this disaster. 100% of donations to their Japan Relief Fund will be used to mobilize these teams once the Japanese government extends a formal invitation to animal rescue organizations.
American Red Cross is sending funds and support to the Japanese Red Cross, which operates 92 hospitals in the country. These facilities have received over a thousand victims already, and many, many more people are grateful for the opportunity to sleep in the buildings' warm hallways and waiting rooms.
Convoy of Hope has a team standing by in the Philippines, waiting for air traffic to Japan to reopen.
Doctors Without Borders "currently has a team... conducting mobile clinics and assessments in Miyagi prefecture" and is waiting on word from Japanese officials before they mobilize additional doctors.
Hope Worldwide's Japan volunteers are running a center for evacuees, providing shelter, food, and water. They anticipate an enormous need for more evacuation facilities, as people are still pouring in from devastated communities and areas under potential nuclear threat.
Lions Clubs International members "live in the affected communities, so they... are able to respond quickly and efficiently. Lions in Japan are coordinating their relief efforts via social media and are using the Japan Lions Office in Tokyo as emergency relief headquarters."
Mercy Corps has already raised half a million dollars for their partner, Peace Winds Japan, who is delivering food, water, and emergency supplies. Meanwhile, Mercy Corps is also preparing a team of relief workers to deploy once their partner determines which skills are most needed.
Salvation Army USA says that "the Salvation Army in Japan has three emergency service relief teams working in areas affected by the earthquake and tsunami. One of the teams is assisting people who have been evacuated from areas threatened by the damage of nuclear power plants."
Save the Children has deployed a team to assess needs in the hardest-hit areas, focusing on providing safe places for kids while their parents work to make sense of their devastated lives.
Shelter Box was on the ground within 24 hours of the quake, and is busy setting up emergency housing for people displaced by the quake and tsunami.
Tzu Chi is a Buddhist relief foundation with strong ties throughout Asia and so is in an excellent position to provide aid. Their Tokyo branch opened a relief center within four hours of the quake, which among other things provides internet access for refugees to contact their loved ones. The organization has already shipped items like instant rice and emergency blankets to the hardest-hit areas.
World Vision's veteran Japan team is already on the ground and working to create Child-Friendly Spaces, their trademark programs that provide structure, security, play, and healing for child victims of disaster.
Please consider donating directly to any of these organizations. Our hearts go out to those touched by this disaster.