Even the smallest donation could be used right away. Please consider it. Imagine the current state of one of the hundreds of thousands of people that lost absolutely everything; what would even a single one of your dollars mean to that person? It could become a bottle of some clean drinking water, or some much-needed food. You can easily provide this.
Of course, you want to know that the money you send will be used immediately, and not hindered by the inevitable red tape, right?
Might I suggest, then, that you donate directly to a Japanese emergency NGO? They will receive your money immediately, and you can rest assured that your dollars will be available to them when their need is greatest: right now. If you donate to a non-Japanese organization (or have already donated to an agency that’s based outside of Japan), keep in mind that it may take a little longer to process and send out your donations, so although your money WILL get to the victims in Japan, it could take weeks or months before your donation actually gets there. It’s not that it isn’t worthwhile to donate to these organizations; it’s just that the help sometimes takes a little longer to arrive.
Remember, to make your money count right away, donate directly to a NGO in Japan. You’ll be sending your money straight to the heart of the relief effort, and not through any outside, circuitous routes. The following Japanese organization, JEN (Japan Emergency NGOs), has recently set their website up in English, and accepts credit card donations in increments of 1,000 Japanese Yen (1000 Yen is equivalent to about $12 Canadian). Go to: http://www.jen-npo.org/en/involved/donate1.php
For a listing of more agencies that can utilize your funds right away, visit http://japanvolunteers.wordpress.com/overseas/
Please give what you can, and in the meantime, let’s not forget how fortunate we are when we lay down to sleep tonight; there’s food in our stomachs, a roof over our heads, and our loved ones are safe.