Thursday, March 24, 2011

Aiding Japan

*Disclaimer: if you haven't heard about Japan then you must've been living in a hole for the last couple of weeks and you should probably hit up immediately before reading this post*

I heard on the radio today that the estimated damage from the recent tsunami and eartquake in Japan is roughly equivalent to 3 hurricane Katrina's--over 300 billion dollars. Wow.

I don't know about you all but when I saw the video footage of this terrible disaster I just wanted to cry. What happened was so horrific and unimagineable. Yet I am amazed by the attitude of the Japanese people--their patience, their strength, their willingness to share, and their ability to work together as a community in a time of great devastation. Not one case of looting has been reported in the aftermath of the disaster and I've seen video of people who have lost everything offering what little food they have to American reporters. It's amazing. And humbling.

If you're like me, there is always this feeling of helplessness after something terrible like this happens. I know donating money is the most common method of showing support in times like these (and usually this is the route I go--write a check and bam! you're done), but I really love supporting the unique ideas that people come up with to fundraise and elevate awareness in disaster situations.

Sushi Baby Booties
For some examples I went to my favorite site, Etsy where I saw a bunch of cute handmade items for sale with all the proceeds going to various charities that are currently providing relief to the people of Japan. Just thought I would share a few here.  

These little cuties here are sweet baby booties made to look like pieces of sushi. All of the proceeds from the sales go to the Japanese Red Cross Society.

This sterling silver necklace features a gingko leaf which is seen by the Japanese as a symbol of hope. All of the proceeds go to the US World Vision program which is on the ground right now helping out in Japan.

These origami paper cranes are being sold by one Etsy store to benefit a group called Save the Children.

This relief painting features a weeping Camellia tree with 100% of the profits going to the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund. The seller will even send you a screenshot of the donation to show proof of donation.

I think it's important to realize that there are so many ways to help out in these types of situations--whether you are sending texts via cell or designing cute baby booties to sell online. But whatever method you choose, please donate. I know I am.

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