I've received many requests from readers wanting to help the country of Japan. Over the past few days, a few great ways to help have been brought to my attention so I'm going to pass the info along for you to use/not use how you see fit.
1st, I follow a local photographer who has shared some AMAZING photos and stories over the past 10 days. He was on the 26th floor of his office building in Shinjuku when the 8.9 earthquake hit last Friday. If you'd like to know what it's REALLY like in Tokyo right now, I suggest you start here and read through the newer posts (you have probably seen some of these photos photos on CNN's iReport if you watch CNN).
He has been working with a great organization, Second Harvest, to get supplies packed and shipped north to the heavily effected areas. (why am I 28 years old and still struggle with the proper use of effect/affect?!?!? I hope that's right) It's a local organization that is accepting financial donations from all over the world. You can donate financially here. Just FYI, 1,000 Yen is approximately $12 USD with the exchange rate right now.
The 2nd specific organization I'd like to highlight is our local Girl Scout/Boy Scout troops. They are collecting backpacks to donate to children who have lost their homes. They're asking for the following items:
Any clothes items should be new.
Provide extra batteries for electronic items.
They also need the actual backpacks. They are collecting items until April 30th so if you live in the states, you have plenty of time to donate items. This is a great way for schools or play groups to get involved with the support efforts.
Here are a few more that I know of:
I hope this info is useful to some of you.