For Japan with Love

I don’t think I need to say anything about the events in Japan; I’m sure we all feel the same. It’s simply heartbreaking to watch so many people, who are just the same as you and me, suffering unimaginable grief, terror and hardship. I can’t fathom it.

I know it can be easy to think that there’s not a lot we can do as individuals to help, but I’m of the belief that doing something is better than doing nothing, no matter how small.

There is this amazing movement going on around the blogosphere: go here to read about it, and then go here to donate. You won’t be putting money into a general fund, but rather giving it to a specific charity providing a specific, and much needed service, which I personally always prefer to do, as your money is more likely to get to the people who need it (trust me, I’m a fundraiser!). The charity you’ll be donating to is called ShelterBox, they are already on the ground in Japan, and they’re providing boxes filled with necessary equipment to support and shelter families in disaster zones. As a professional fundraiser used to being incredibly cynical and poring through charity’s accounts to ensure proper practices, I can assure you that they are a bonafide charity doing legitimate, good work, and almost 100% of your donations will go directly towards helping the people who need support in Japan right now. I hope many of you will decide to participate, in whatever way you can, even if it’s just posting about it on your blog. Thank you.


  1. Thank you for bringing this to my attention as I was unaware of this drive. It is indeed heart-breaking and frightening and I think we will all feel the repercussions of this tragedy. I’ve been wondering how best to offer some small assistance and I am thankful that you’ve checked this out for me. I’ll be popping over there now. Thank you!

    1. You’re welcome, Cristina. I know it can be overwhelming when trying to find a way to help and you don’t know where to put your support, so I’m glad to publicise something that is making a genuine and specific difference, and immediately relieving the suffering that is going on.

  2. Thank you for doing this. I spent Thursday night (all night) watching TV, alternately sorrowing for Japan and worrying as to whether or not we’d get swamped. The newscasts had all linked to webcams on the beaches that would be hit first. It was incredibley tense as we saw the first wave affect the coast. We were very fortunate that it wasn’t worse.
    My coworker’s son was working there and is fortunately okay. Likewise, the families of my two best friends are there. They are more or less okay, but everything is fairly precarious.
    Everyone please do what you can to help

    1. Thank you Nancy. How awful for your coworker and your friends. It’s such a terrible tragedy and anything we can do is something that goes towards alleviating some of the suffering, I think.

  3. The YAosphere goddess Maureen Johnson ran two drives for this charity (one before the Japan disaster and one after) and managed to raise enough money for shelters for 290 people. They do look like a fantastic disaster response charity (and like you I ran a little ‘how good is this charity’ check before donating, although I’m sure mine was less comprehensive thatn yours) and Cornwall based, which at the moment is still part of the UK 😉

    1. It’s an amazing charity Jodie and one I hadn’t come across before. In disaster situations like this I am always wary of chucking my money at huge international relief efforts as I know from being inside the industry that the admin costs are so ridiculously high that a big chunk of any donation will disappear and not go directly to support the cause I’m donating to. That’s why I prefer to give to small charities doing specific, proven work that provides immediate relief. I hope many more people will donate – the weather there is so cold right now that they must be desperate for the stuff in the boxes.

  4. Thank your. Your vote of confidence in this charity was really helpful for me in making my decision how to give. I also try to find charities whose resources take the most streamlined path to the people who need the help.

  5. It’s unfortunate that there are those out there willing to take advantage at times like these so thanks for the links to not only legitimate but really good charities. This has been heartbreaking to watch and just seeing it on TV makes you feel so helpless that it’s nice be able to do some small thing.

    1. Oh yes – it’s terrible how some ‘charities’ really do very little for those they claim to help. Doing anything is better than doing nothing and these smaller charities who make a real, quick difference and use the money they’re given wisely are so worthy of support and I glad you’re of the same thinking as me!

  6. Thank you sharing – it seems we were on the same vibe when naming our blog posts. It’s heartening to see on the news that there have been no new major disasters overnight – power seems to be imminent. I hope the snow lets up and the sun comes out over Japan again very soon.

    1. I hope exactly the same – it’s so hard to even imagine what it’s like for them now and I hope the light at the end of the tunnel will start to shine brightly very soon.

  7. I just wanted you to know I appreciated you sharing this information, Rachel. I am familiar with this (my husband is in Rotary International). It is good to know that help is there for Japan. My heart breaks with each new report.

    1. Thank you Penny. While the news from Japan is so sad, it is heartening to know that there are so many people out there willing to help. I can’t ever believe the world is a bad place when I see how much compassion people are willing to extend to others who are suffering.

  8. Slightly late for the day of silence but never too late to donate. Thanks for the tick of approval. I was quite disheartened to hear much of the donations to Haiti still haven’t reached those that truly need it.

    1. Never too late indeed, Mae! Yes – that’s what I mean about giving to huge international charities. A lot of money gets chucked at them and really – where does it go? We never really find out. Much of it gets swallowed up in administration costs that smaller charities don’t tend to have, because they have smaller teams and more concentrated work.

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