I was shocked on Friday morning to hear about the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. It struck off the east region of Honshu (the Main island of Japan). Knowing that most of my family and friends are from the west side of Japan, I wasn't panicking. Yet, the first thing came up to my mind was my brother, who currently lives in the south of Tokyo. I was able to get hold of my mother and was advised that he was alright. I was so relieved. I was able to talk to my brother via Mixi (The largest Japanese social media site) and he told me the story of his day, which was terrifying.
Another person that I was worried, was Takuya. I studied at ESL with him five years ago and he currently lives in Sendai, one of the most affected regions. According to a mutual friend, who spoke with his brother, Takuya and his family were safely evacuated. Sadlythough, his house was completely destroyed and floating in the water.
The earthquake has killed hundreds of people, and there are more missing as well as numerous people and families that are stranded with little in the way supplies or aid. They are still experiencing a number of smaller earthquakes and fear another possible impending tsunami. It is going to be a long fight for them to get back to their normal lives. Now is the time for us to help them get through this. According to Yahoo Canada, there are a number of Canadian organizations that are collecting donations:
- Canadian Red Cross: Call toll free at 1-800-418-1111 or visit the webpage dedicated to providing relief in Japan. Donate here.
- CanadaHelps: Check here for an indepth listing of Canadian charities providing aid to those in need.
- Oxfam Canada: Teams and partner organizations are on-site and monitoring the situation from the ground. Donate here.
- Global Giving: Working with Save the Children, International Medical Corps and others to provide support on the grounds of Japan. Donate here.
- ADRA Canada: ADRA Japan has extensive experience with providing national and internationalsupport to those affected by such disasters. Donate here or call 1.888-274-2372.
- Christian Reformed World Relief Committee: Making arrangements with Christian partners on the grounds of Japan to provide emergency aid. Donate here or call 1-800-552-7972.
- Médicins Sans Frontières: Donate here or call 1-800-982-7903.
- UNICEF: Closely monitoring the situation in Japan and prepared to provide assistance and relief.Donate here.
- Plan International Canada: Has activated its emergency response teams currently stationed in Philippines and Indonesia. Donate here.
- World Vision Canada: Donations will help the organization to rush supplies such as food, clothing, blankets and shelter to those in need. Donate here or call 1-800-844-7993.
I can't stop thinking about what would have happened if this had occurred in my hometown. Although my family and friends are all fine, there is a staggering number of people in need of help. They remain plagued with the fear of more possible earthquakes and tsunamis. We can't predict accurately what nature has in store for Japan. But we can help these people from Canada. Let's do our part.
P.S Thank you so much to those who contacted me to make sure that my family in Japan is fine. I want to thank you all on behalf of my family. We will do our part from Japan and here in Toronto.
My name is Jen and I work for the Canadian Red Cross. Thank you for helping to spread the word about how people can donate to our Japan earthquake appeal. We really appreciate it.
We would love to continue to connect with you. You can find us on Twitter (@redcrosstalk,@redcrosscanada), Facebook (facebook.com/canadianredcross), and our blog is redcrosstalks.wordpress.com.
Thank you for your support!
Did you also know that instead of donating money, you can redeem your Air Mile points? You can donate $25 by redeeming 200 points!!! Go to www.airmiles.ca for more details.