Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Please Help

If you are reading this post, I think it’s a safe gamble that you have a roof over your head, you’ve had a hot meal within the last day and probably a refreshing glass of water to wash it down; you’re likely able to enjoy the comforts of electricity and central heating, and you probably know exactly how to get in touch with your mother, your grandfather, or your best friend. At this moment, there are millions of people in Japan who wish they could do even one thing on that list.

On Friday, March 11, the world forever changed for millions when Japan endured a 9.0 magnitude earthquake, one of the largest earthquakes recorded, ever. And that wasn’t the only horrible, cruel hand they were dealt that day; they then faced a powerful tsunami and then, as a result of the sheer force of the tsunami and earthquake, now have radiation exposure to contend with.

News outlets are writing that this crisis could be the most expensive in history, totaling $100 billion (71.5 billion euros), probably more. And, so far, funds raised toward aid and rebuilding efforts are pitiful. The NonProfit Times wrote today that five days later, only $25 million (17.9 million euros) had been raised in America: an embarrassing one-tenth of fundraising seen for other recent natural disasters. I wish I could find a global statistic to refer to, but I’m afraid the trend would be the same.

I know we can do better than that, and we can start right here in Luxembourg. Here’s how:

Over the past few days, I’ve been looking for ways to give online. There are a million ways and places to give, but I wanted to find Luxembourg-based organizations; those I've been pointed to are listed below. If you know of an organization that’s not on my (very, very short) list, please e-mail me at with sourcing info so I can include your addition on this blog, or add a comment below.

Luxembourg Organizations
Croix-Rouge (Luxembourg): They are accepting donations. You can donate via credit card or bank transfer. If you prefer to use your Visa or MasterCard, as you make your purchase, keep in mind that the field noted “Montant du Don” means “Amount of Donation” and the following field, “En faveur de” means “for”. From the scroll-down box, choose the option “Humanitaire > Séisme Japon” to earmark your funds.

To give via bank transfer, give to CCPL LU52 1111 0000 1111 0000 with the mention ''Séisme Japon''.
Or, to give your time instead, consult the Croix-Rouge list of volunteer activities.

Medecins Sans Frontieres: They are accepting donations. You can contribute via bank transfer to: CCP LU75 1111 0000 4848 0000, be sure to note “Séisme Japon” in the comments for your bank transfer, to ensure that your euros will be earmarked for aiding Japan.
The organization is not currently accepting volunteers.

UNICEF: At the writing of this blog post, the organization is not currently accepting donations, nor is it looking for office volunteers to support Japan-related efforts. The organization is waiting for a formal request from the government of Japan before starting any related efforts, so check the UNICEF web site frequently for updated information, or call 44 87 15.

Outside of Luxembourg
And for my friends, family, and soon-to-be-Luxembourgers reading this blog from afar, here are a few more ideas on how to help – with donations or otherwise:

Direct Donation. Donate directly to the Japanese Red Cross Society. Google makes it easy to give directly to the organization closest to the cause through Google Checkout. In addition, Google’s crisis response page offers a wealth of information for those currently in Japan, with internet access (info on shelters, scheduled blackouts), but also an education for the rest of us, via the “useful maps” feature. 

Do you have your own blog or web site? You have my full permission to copy this entire post and present it as your own. Or, capture your thoughts in your own blog post on the subject.

Even easier: install the “Hello Bar” a thin bar you can set to appear at the top of your blog/web site that encourages people to visit or donate to the web site of your choice. Go to, click “request invite” then enter your registration details. At the next screen when asked to enter a beta key, enter “helpjapan”. This will give you a Hello Bar account immediately and you can solicit aid for Japan in whatever way you think is best.

Buy a t-shirt. Threadless Causes is the arm of the online retailer that supports charitable initiatives. They are selling a $20 USD t-shirt on their web site in support of Japan; all net proceeds go to the American Red Cross Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Fund.

And even Snoop Dogg is in on the t-shirt action, having designed a special tee for sale here. If you click through, you'll see that the Zappos sale link seems to be broken; buy your shirt from Tilly's (€18) or Zumiez ($21.95USD) instead). All profits go to Operation USA in support of their efforts in Japan.

Do you live in the United States? $10 will be added to your cell phone bill for donating to the Salvation Army (Text “Japan” or “Quake” to 80888, from the US only) or to the Red Cross (Text “RedCross” to 90999, from the US only). Or, click here for a list of charitable organizations accepting contributions for Japan

Or, donate online to the American Red Cross by clicking here.

Or Canada? You can use your cell phone to donate, too. Donate $5 to the Canadian Red Cross Society from your cell phone by texting ASIA to 30333. Or donate $10 to The Salvation Army in Canada by texting 45678.

Love being online? Find more ways to help online through this Mashable post or through this Mashable post.

Again: comment below with more ways to help, or e-mail me at

Thank you, and thank you for doing what you can to help.

1 comment:

  1. The Embassy of Japan in Luxembourg is also accepting donations. Bank transfer info is at the end of this article: