On Friday, March 11th, Kathryn Pombriant Manzella awoke in San Diego to an email from Ayumi Horie, her best friend of 30 years. Ayumi, a potter, wanted Kathryn’s support to organize an online art auction to raise money for survivors of the earthquake and tsunami that had just hit Japan. The two had always shared a love of Japan and art and decided to channel this passion to help those affected by the disaster. With the help of another long-time friend, Ai Kanazawa Cheung, as well as volunteers, family, and other friends, Handmade for Japan was born. Within two weeks, Handmade for Japan had mobilized the support of dozens of artists and galleries to host an eBay auction of 120 pieces of art. The auction raised more than $75,000 for GlobalGiving’s Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund, garnered media attention for the Japan relief effort, and attracted over 5,000 followers to the cause.
Ayumi Horie, Kathryn Pombriant Manzella and Ai Kanazawa Cheung plan via Skype.
Like Ayumi and Kathryn, hundreds of other donors leapt into action after the earthquake and tsunami struck Japan, rallying support for the relief effort via GlobalGiving. From bake sales to t-shirt sales and celebrity events, the response has been amazing. For example, Anime fans and gamers have raised more than $80,000 hosting live video game streams, including Level|Up x iPlayWinner’s online "Fight for Relief."
High school and college students throughout the US banded together with fraternities, sororities, service clubs, and fellow classmates to organize events and host virtual fundraisers. University of Maryland Professor Larry Shinagawa organized a fundraiser in the DC area that raised nearly $25,000. And caring donors like you organized benefit concerts, comedy shows, garage sales, road trips, relay races, and even a Martian Marathon (whatever that is), raising thousands of dollars to help the people of Japan.
Joining these "everyday heroes" have been some names you might recognize. Singer Jack Johnson, actors Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Ken Watanabe, and heavy-metal band Megadeth have all raised funds for GlobalGiving's efforts. And we are excited to count among our "tweeters" Katy Perry, Simon Pegg, Moby, Christy Turlington, Jaime Camil, and Star Trek's original Mr. Sulu, George Takai.
Businesses as diverse as Dell, Liquidnet, American Pressed Bakery, ClippieCollections, and Summerfield Childcare have donated and encouraged employees and customers to give. (See more on our blog.)
Gap Inc, a long-time partner of GlobalGiving, has been a standout among this generous crowd, having mobilized to support GlobalGiving’s Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund from all directions, proving Gap Inc’s genuine commitment to doing what’s right:
- Gap Inc employees are able to contribute to Japan relief efforts and have those donations matched through the website BeWhatsPossible.com. Employees of all levels, up to the founding family, have taken advantage of this opportunity.
- The Gap Foundation has provided a grant to International Medical Corps and Save the Children via GlobalGiving's Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund.
- The Gap Inc commerce websites, including Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Piperlime, and Athleta, linked to GlobalGiving's Japan relief efforts for more than a week during March, leading to more than $70,000 from Gap Inc consumers.
- There are currently Japan t-shirts selling in select Gap stores and online, from which proceeds will go to GlobalGiving's Japan relief efforts.
- The Gap Inc Give and Get team made a donation for every employee who signed up for its March 17-20, 2011, sale.
From employees to corporate matches to inspiring its customers, the Gap Inc community has already donated or committed more than $500,000 of funding to our partners on the ground.
As a result of the generosity of those mentioned above and more than 34,000 individual donors, GlobalGiving disbursed an additional $500,000 to Japanese relief organizations on Thursday, March 31st. $100,000 was given to each of the following organizations: Association for Aid and Relief (AAR), Association of Medical Doctors of Asia (AMDA), Civic Force, Japanese Emergency NGOs (JEN), and Japan Platform. In the coming weeks, we will continue to keep you updated about the work that these and other organizations are doing in Japan and to share stories of impact from the field.
Thank you again for your support,
Britt Lake and the GlobalGiving Team