Friday, April 1, 2011

How Can I Help the Earthquake/Tsunami Victims in Japan?

Dear Madame L,

I'm not reading as much lately about the people who lost loved ones, their homes, their livelihoods, and so on in the earthquake and tsunami in Japan on March 11.

I know they still need help. What do you think is the best way to help them?


Would-Be Do-Gooder

Dear Do-Gooder,

Madame L is really glad you asked that question. Of course there are many charitable and relief organizations willing to take your money, and of course most of them are good organizations which will actually use your donation to help people, minus an overhead that goes to pay their directors and employees.

Madame L prefers to donate to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which uses all donations, with no overhead costs, to help people all around the world, without regard to their religious beliefs, political affiliations, or anything else.

The Church already has a presence in Japan, with volunteer church leaders, missionaries, and members on the ground where they can see immediate needs and respond quickly. 

According to its website, the Church has already distributed more than 70 tons of supplies, provided scooters to help members deliver aid to areas that can't be reached by car, and assembled hygiene kits and cleaning kits for people in affected areas. 

To donate to the Church's relief efforts, you can donate online or through any local bishop.

Madame L has also discovered a wonderful website, WRITE HOPE, created by a group of "kidlit" writers who are auctioning off some amazing books, opportunities to interact with your (or your children's) favorite authors, and other fantastic items, with all proceeds going to the Save the Children's emergency relief fund.

Madame L hopes that other readers who are Do-Gooders will comment with additional suggestions for helping the people of Japan, who still face unimaginable problems, including radiation sickness and further loss of life.
And Madame L has one final suggestion, for those so inclined: Pray for the people and their leaders.

With a prayer in her own heart,

Madame L

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