With more than 430,000 people displaced and around 24,000 literally stranded, disaster response is of utmost priority right now, with all the necessities such as food, water and medical attention topping the list. But collecting donation, bottled water or canned food in your locality isn’t really the best way to help.
It is extremely time consuming and expensive to ship donations overseas to Japan at the moment. It is more useful for relief agencies to use money to purchase resources locally instead.
Taking this into account, the American Red Cross and The Salvation Army are groups that are now accepting donations via text messages. But text donations also have their own set of limitations. Organizations do not receive the donation money from the phone company until you have paid your bills. This can also be very time consuming.
If you’re looking for immediate impact, then visit a charity-based website. You could also use social media posts and blogs to provide updates and to solicit donations. Doctors Without Borders has been constantly posting details on its Facebook page about its relief efforts in Japan. Click on a post to get to the group’s website and donate.
Online donation do indeed reach groups faster than checks being dropped in the mail, but it is important to be careful when entering your debit or credit card information. This is especially true if you are donating via a social media site.