Wednesday, March 16, 2011

What can we do to help Japan?

Dear Women of Faith and Friends,

You have no doubt seen the alarming images of the devastation along the east coast of Japan and wondered what you can do to help.  Some of you have called to see what the Church (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) is doing and how we can help. Here is what I have learned and pass it along to you – both how to contribute through the LDS Church and through the City of Riverside, whose sister city is Sendai, Japan (see below):


From the Church’s Philanthropies website, we learn:

The Church is responding to the current disaster in Japan. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles told reporters in a news conference Tuesday, March 15, that the Church has committed substantial financial aid to Japan. Emergency supplies are being purchased in Japan or nearby countries as necessary to reduce response time and help local economies that have suffered during the crisis.

The Church’s Humanitarian Aid Fund allows members and friends to donate as an act of compassion for people in disaster situations such as Japan. It is important to note that donations to the fund are not earmarked for any particular disaster or region but are used as needed wherever people are in distress or require basic necessities such as food, shelter, and medical attention.

Elder Holland reemphasized concern for the people of Japan and said that the Church will work with government agencies, the Red Cross, and others to make available needed resources.


Riverside, California and Sendai, Japan have been sister cities since 1957 in what is one of the oldest continuous sister city relationships in the United States. The city of Sendai was one of the worst hit areas, located just 105 miles from the epicenter of the quake and directly in the path of the tsunami.

The City of Riverside has established a Sendai relief fund and is collecting donations to help its sister city recover from the devastation.  It hopes to raise $250,000.

More information may be obtained and donations made at this web site:

Donated funds are tax deductible and will be held in a separate account designated for Sendai, Japan.  100% of the funds collected will be given directly to officials in Sendai to help them in their recovery efforts.


We perhaps feel a little closer to the people of Japan since we’ve spent the past few months making peace cranes for the Metropolitan Museum’s exhibit honoring Japanese-Americans held in internment camps during WWII. Let’s continue to pray for the people and land of Japan and do whatever we feel inspired to do to help in other ways.


Just a bit of caution: Federal officials are urging people to be cautious when they donate money to charities responding to this crisis. The FBI warns that con artists often prey on donors following natural disasters. The Internet Crime Complaint Center says donors should be careful when confronted with unsolicited e-mails asking for credit card information or money transfers. Consumers should try to verify the legitimacy of nonprofit organizations with an Internet search.”

No comments: