- American Red Cross — U.S. mobile-phone users can text REDCROSS to 90999 to add $10 automatically to their phone bill. Or go to www.redcross.org or call 800-RED-CROSS.
- International Medical Corps — Sending relief teams and supplies to the area. Call 800-481-4462, or visit http://internationalmedicalcorps.org.
- Save the Children — The relief effort providing food, medical care and education to children is accepting donations through mobile phones by texting JAPAN to 20222 to donate $10. People can also call 800-728-3843 during business hours or go to www.savethechildren.org/japanquake to donate online.
- Global Giving — The nonprofit that works through grass-roots efforts says Americans can text JAPAN to 50555 to give $10 through their phone bill. Or go to www.globalgiving.org.
- Interaction — The group is the largest alliance of U.S.-based international nongovernmental organizations and lists many ways to help on its site, www.interaction.org.
- Network for Good — The aggregator of charities has a list of programs and ways to donate to relief efforts. Go to www.networkforgood.org.
- Bay Federal Credit Union — Financial donations will support priority needs in Japan — food, water, temporary shelter, medical services, and rescue efforts — through the endeavors the American Red Cross. A second fund has been set up to provide aid to local residents who were displaced when their boat residences were damaged by strong tsunami currents in the Santa Cruz Harbor. Donations of cash or checks made payable to either ‘BFCU for American Red Cross Japan Relief Fund' or ‘BFCU for American Red Cross Santa Cruz Relief Fund' can be made at any Bay Federal Credit Union branch, by mail addressed to Bay Federal Credit Union, Attention: Tsunami Relief, 3333 Clares St., Capitola, CA 95010 or online at www.bayfed.com.
Here are some ways to help victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan and others throughout the Pacific
The local paper the Santa Cruz Sentinel did better coverage of the Tsunami online than in the print paper. Is this a sign of the times? Citizen journalists contributed their camcorder videos to cover the event.
I have never seen a tsunami alert before in California. David called me at 6:00 AM this morning from the UK to ask if I was ok. At first I ignored the call until he called back on my cell. Then I knew it was somebody who knew me personally not another client lost in a timezone glitch.
That was the first I knew of this terrible natural disaster. I went to bed early Thursday night as it had been a long and stressful day. The quake hit Japan around 11:30 PM PST. I am really grateful that friends and family let me sleep through the night. However, I am going to change my cellphone number as its area code is not Santa Cruz. I never got the reverse 911 warning for 831 area code.
This so reminds me of the 1989 earthquake in Northern California. The aftermath is that you feel like you are having an out-of-body experience. It was a surreal day. The warning sign over Highway One freeway wasn't about snow at the summit, or another Amber alert, or accident warning. It said in big neon letters, "Tsunami alert still in effect until midnight".
You can imagine how that slowed traffic.
I went down to the small boat harbor to see the damage as BBC International kept talking about Santa Cruz damage and showing helicopter views of boats wandering around having lost their moorings.
I can relate as I had just come from an acupuncture appointment and was not entirely grounded in reality myself. I figured, why not go see the waves?
The police became immediately photogenic and cooperative when I said the photos were for Internet TV. Then the real news showed up: ABC. The problem was there was really nothing to see as the damaged boats had sunk. The harbor was closed and the police were concerned that more significant waves would come in and flood out my favorite breakfast haunt, Aldo's.
I pray for Japan.