Sunday, March 20, 2011

Help Japan in any way you can!

Depending on where you live, there may be organisations around you collecting donations for water, food, clothes, etc. You may even have a chance to volunteer your time. However, I'm going to focus on donating money because I'm sure every one of us in every country will have a chance to help out in that way.

There are many avenues for donation. However, it would be good to check that you're donating to a legitimate organisation, what proportion of the money spent is actually donated, and how they plan to use the money to help out. No use purchasing an expensive product you don't really like if they'll be donating only 10% of what they receive.

For most people outside of Japan, your local chapter of the Red Cross Society would probably one of the best channels for donation. Visit the website of your country's Red Cross Society to find out how to donate. Making a donation is easy and should involve nothing more than mailing a cheque or making a trip to their offices.

You can also make an online donation by credit card here:

Donate via the International Federation of the Red Cross.

Donate via World Vision.

Just a few weeks ago, I was feeling down because I felt like I always seemed to be running out of money. I just never seemed to have enough money left over at the end of the month to buy any of the nice clothes I wanted or to eat at fancy restaurants.

The recent disaster really put things into perspective for me and made me realise how small my own problems were. It also reminded me that it's nice to live a bit more simply. If you buy one less dress every month, or take the bus/train when you could have taken a taxi, or skip your manicure, or pack lunch for two days, or borrow that book from the library instead of buying it, and then you donate that amount of money you would otherwise have spent, you'll find that it's actually really easy to help out in a small way even if you're not feeling rich.

Recently I went for a manicure for the first time in years and I immediately regretted it. The polish chipped after just one day! And the whole process cost me enough to buy 3-6 decent meals. So I've told myself to be more careful with how I part with my money. There are always people who need it more.

So let's all try to help, shall we?