Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund

by GlobalGiving
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Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund
Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund
Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund
Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund
Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund
Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund
Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund

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.
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 our blog: http://blog.globalgiving.org/2011/04/04/generosity-amplified/)

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

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Meet the Satos. You're helping them.

Mr. and Mrs. Sato are currently staying with 200+ other people on a high school gym floor in Mirami Sanriku Cho, a city in northern Japan. Their home was destroyed by the recent earthquake and resulting tsunami, leaving the couple trapped for nearly two days with about 500 other elderly individuals. Several weeks after disaster struck Japan, individuals like Mr. and Mrs. Sato are still relying heavily on aid organizations. Read Mr. and Mrs. Sato's full story.

Because of your generosity, GlobalGiving has disbursed more than $1.5 million to organizations on the ground providing basic necessities, medical care, childcare, and ongoing support to hundreds of thousands of people. We have received frequent reports, stories, and photos from our partners, which we have shared below.

Association of Medical Doctors of Asia (AMDA) - AMDA's team of 88 — including volunteer doctors, nurses, and therapists — is working in evacuation shelters in Kamaishi City and Ohtsuchicho in Iwate Prefecture and Minamisanriku-cho in Miyagi Prefecture. In one shelter doctors reported seeing 50-80 patients daily. AMDA is using electric vehicles to deliver mobile clinic services to shelters and people's homes in remote areas. They are using other means to enter sites in mountainous areas where road access is difficult. Read updates on AMDA's website.

Peace Winds - In addition to ongoing relief work in Kesennuma, Peace Winds has expanded relief operations to Rikuzentakata and Ofunato in Iwate Prefecture and Minamisanriku in Miyagi Prefecture.  Peace Winds continues to manage, ship, and distribute emergency relief supplies at evacuation centers in these cities.  In response to the severe cold in the northeast prefectures, Peace Winds, in collaboration with Civic Force, recently delivered 510 kerosene stoves and thousands of liters of kerosene to help heat evacuation shelters. Read updates on Peace Wind's website.

Japan Platform - Japan Platform, a network of Japanese NGOs, businesses, and local governments, is coordinating the work of 24 partner organizations, channeling funding and resources to them based on expertise and location. Japan Platform is providing grants and logistical assistance to its partners, which have responded to the emergency by offering medical services, daycare, internet access, and more. See where Japan Platform's partners are working.

Save the Children - Save the Children is operating nine "Child Friendly Spaces" in evacuation centers in Northeast Japan. This gives children, who are otherwise suffering from nightmares, anxiety, and boredom, the chance to laugh, play, and interact with other children. Read more about Save the Children's "Child Friendly Spaces."

Telecom for Basic Human Needs (BHN) - BHN has created seven internet access points throughout Iwate Prefecture, making it possible for those affected to access information and to connect with family. BHN has constructed a temporary internet infrastructure using a wireless mesh network. Now, BHN is working to repair radio equipment and organize community radio broadcasts detailing important information about safety and support services. BHN is also distributing wind-up radios to facilitate access to information.

International Medical Corps - Working closely with the Japanese government to fill gaps in the disaster relief effort, International Medical Corps is providing mental health services to disaster survivors and supporting vulnerable displaced groups such as the elderly, single women, and children. International Medical Corps has delivered packaged baby foods and medications including nasal sprays, antihistamines, and eye drops. They have also helped to improve communication between evacuation and coordination centers by distributing laptops, satellite phones, and walkie-talkies. Read International Medical Corps' update on GlobalGiving.

Japanese Emergency NGOs (JEN) - Over the past several weeks, JEN has expanded its work into some of the least accessible areas that are still receiving little support, such as the towns of Minamisanriku, Higashimatsushima, Onagawa and Ishimaki. JEN has continued to assess needs in these areas and to distribute much needed supplies, including clothing, sanitary items, and fresh food. In the long-term, JEN plans to help individuals return home or resettle and ultimately rebuild a sustainable local economy and livelihood. Read updates on JEN's blog.

Civic Force - Civic Force has played a valuable role in facilitating the distribution of donated supplies throughout Northeast Japan. Earlier this week, Civic Force unloaded two four-ton trucks of rice donated through Yahoo! in Kesennuma. Last week, Civic Force distributed 19,000 pairs of shoes and socks donated by Nike as well as six four-ton trucks of fruits, vegetables, and other nutritious foods. Civic Force has also begun to plan for the construction of temporary shelters for families currently living in evacuation shelters. Read updates from Civic Force's website.

Association for Aid and Relief (AAR) - AAR continues to assess and respond to the needs of elderly and disabled individuals. AAR is distributing much-needed supplies — flashlights, food, water, and kerosene — to welfare facilities for people with disabilities, evacuation shelters, and makeshift refuges in Miyagi Prefecture and Iwate Prefecture. Read detailed updates on AAR's blog.

Lifeline Energy - Lifeline Energy is working with Oxfam Japan to distribute 15,000 Polaris all-in-one radio, light and cell-phone chargers by early April. Polaris radios, which access Japan's unique radio frequency, will enable disaster survivors to receive updates about support services, radiation levels, weather forecasts, and more. The LED light will help families navigate in darkness, and the cell phone charger will make it possible for people to connect. Lifeline Energy will be distributing Polaris radios to the elderly in Tohuku Kanto region. Read a recent update Lifeline Energy's website.

Architecture for Humanity - Architecture for Humanity, in collaboration with members of its Kyoto Chapter, is conducting door-to-door needs assessments in Sendai. This assessment is being used to inform Architecture for Humanity's long-term plan for rebuilding and recovery. Architecture for Humanity is working with design professionals to design safe and sustainable community buildings, health clinics, schools, and hospitals. Read updates on Architecture for Humanity's website.

To see all Japan relief updates, visit www.globalgiving.org/japan-updates.

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Thank you again for your support,
Britt Lake and the GlobalGiving Team

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Two weeks have passed since the 9.0 magnitude earthquake and resulting tsunami hit Japan, and the needs are becoming clearer. This morning it was reported that the official death toll crossed 10,000. More than 17,000 people have been reported missing and 245,000 people are dependent upon evacuation centers for shelter after their homes and communities were destroyed.

Through your support, over $2 million has been raised for the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund, and GlobalGiving has been able to quickly send funds to partners on the ground that are providing medical and other emergency support to fill immediate needs.

Today we announced a second round of grants totaling nearly $1 million − $825,000 of which is coming from donations you’ve made to the Fund. This round of grants is being made exclusively to Japanese NGOs working on emergency relief. These seven groups, and the funding they are receiving from GlobalGiving, are listed in the chart below

Japan Platform and Peace Winds, two organizations we described in our last update, are receiving their second grants from the Fund. Descriptions of the five additional organizations receiving grants in this second round, and the work they are currently carrying out in Japan, are below:

Japanese Emergency NGOs (JEN) - Japanese Emergency NGOs was founded as a coalition of relief workers with experience in overseas disasters. More than a decade ago, JEN became an independent NGO implementing disaster relief work. JEN is coordinating with local government and at the grassroots level to deliver blankets and food in the short term, and it has two teams in the affected areas assessing its long-term response.

Civic Force - Civic Force was founded with a specific focus on domestic emergency response in Japan. The team is currently sending ten trucks a day carrying supplies to 150-200 camps in the affected areas. Its initial focus was on blankets and shelter, but delivery is now focused on necessary medicine and food. In the coming months, Civic Force is looking to assist with long-term recovery, particularly around rubble removal and rebuilding in communities that were destroyed.

Association of Medical Doctors of Asia (AMDA) - The Association of Medical Doctors of Asia, founded in Japan in 1984, began sending mobile clinics to provide medical relief to survivors in the first week after the disaster. More than 30 people on 10 teams have visited evacuation camps in two affected Prefectures, including doctors, nurses, and logistics experts. Almost all of the doctors are volunteering their time, so AMDA can use donations effectively to purchase medical supplies and get personnel and medicine to the afflicted areas.

Association for Aid and Relief (AAR) – The Association for Aid and Relief was founded in Japan in 1979, and now has offices in 13 countries with more than 200 staff around the world. AAR began distributing food and non-food items to survivors in affected areas just three days after the earthquake. AAR is focusing primarily on reaching the elderly and disabled, who may not be covered by the larger, government-supported evaluation camps.

Telecom for Basic Human Needs (BHN) - BHN was created by the telecommunications industry in 1992 to provide development assistance and disaster relief in the form of radio, internet, and other IT-specific support. Already, BHN has begun work to provide logistics for a mobile clinic in Natori City, Miyagi Prefecture and to build an internet-based wireless mesh network in Iwate Prefecture. Funds from GlobalGiving will support BHN’s efforts to rebuild local community FM radio stations to broadcast local news, programs for kids, and English programs for foreigners.

In addition to the grants described above, we are also disbursing more than $100,000 of funds raised in the last week by organizations with specific Japan relief projects on GlobalGiving.org.

GlobalGiving UK will be sending an additional £10,000, split among four organizations: AAR, International Medical Corps UK, JEN, and Peace Winds.

In the coming weeks, we will continue to tell you how donations to the Fund are being allocated and share stories about the impact your contributions are making possible for the people affected by this disaster. Let us know on the project wall what you would like to hear about in these updates, and please read our blog (http://blog.globalgiving.org/) for more context on our activities.

Our hearts continue to go out to the people of Japan, as well as to the tireless humanitarian workers and volunteers on the ground. We are honored to support their work. As you know, the needs are still great. If you are moved to provide more support please click below.

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Thank you again for your generosity,
Britt Lake and the GlobalGiving Team

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All of us at GlobalGiving have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of generosity that has come from people all over the world in support of those impacted by the tsunami and earthquake in Japan. Over 20,000 of you have donated time, energy, money, and ideas to help those affected by the disaster.

Today, just one week after the earthquake hit, we are disbursing $725,000 from GlobalGiving's Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund to six organizations already in Japan working on relief and long-term recovery efforts. You can see the exact allocation of these funds below.

We wanted to share with you more information about the organizations receiving these first funds and the valuable work that each is carrying out with the help of your donation.

Japan Platform - Japan Platform is an emergency humanitarian aid organization working with Japanese NGOs, the Japanese business community, and the Japanese government. Funds provided by GlobalGiving will be used to provide disaster coordination and financial support to the 18 Japan Platform partner NGOs that are responding to the emergency by providing short-term food aid, medical assistance, and tents, while planning a long-term response.

Peace Winds - Peace Winds is a Japanese organization that has focused on emergency humanitarian relief for the past 15 years. GlobalGiving funds will help Peace Winds distribute emergency disaster relief supplies - including food, cooking supplies, and blankets - to people at shelters in Kesennuma City, Miyagi Prefecture and to provide free satellite telephone services and mobile phone charging so that survivors can ensure family members of their safety and to check on family members in other affected areas.

Save the Children - Children are always among the most vulnerable during emergencies. Save the Children is working with children and caregivers to provide psycho-social support and materials and to establish Child-Friendly Spaces in affected communities in Miyagi, Fukushima, Iwata, and Ibaraki Prefectures.

Architecture for Humanity - Architecture for Humanity and its teams of professionals in Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto are partnering with other organizations to mobilize around the long-term reconstruction effort. GlobalGiving funds will support communities and design professionals in the safe and sustainable rebuilding of community structures, health clinics, schools, hospitals and civic structures.

International Medical Corps - International Medical Corps has an emergency response team of doctors on the ground in Sendai, and is coordinating with local officials to fill critical gaps in the response efforts. These funds will help the group focus on reaching isolated coastal communities that were devastated by the tsunami and have yet to receive aid.

Lifeline Energy - Lifeline Energy is working with local partners to distribute wind-up and solar radios and specialized programming to non-Japanese speaking survivors, who are lacking access to critical information following the disaster. These radios are also equipped with flashlights and cell phone chargers and are designed for especially complex emergency situations.

GlobalGiving is committed to keeping you informed about the impact your donation is having on the ground. In the coming days, weeks, and months, you'll continue to receive updates about how these funds are being used and stories about the people whose lives you have helped change for the better. For additional insights into how GlobalGiving is handling donors' funds, read our Chief Program Officer's recent blog post (http://blog.globalgiving.org/2011/03/18/what-we-are-doing-with-funds-collected-for-japan/).

Together, you are making a difference in the lives of so many in Japan.

Thank you,
Britt Lake and the GlobalGiving Team

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This is a personal message from Mari Kuraishi, President and Co-Founder of GlobalGiving and a Japanese national, about the disaster in Japan:

Friday March 11th passed in something of a blur. I woke up, heard about the largest earthquake ever to hit Japan, and started speed dialing my family and friends. Earthquakes happen frequently in Japan, so every couple of years I end up calling, "Just to make sure." But this time, I'd gotten an email in the middle of my night, immediately after the earthquake struck in Japan mid-afternoon, from a friend saying, "This might be it. If anything happens to me, please look out for my daughter." But all circuits were busy. OK, try again later. From the quick snippets of news I saw, neither my family nor friends were anywhere near the epicenter. "Later" eventually got to be too late for me to be hassling people who may have been through a big scare and may have just gotten to sleep. So wait until the end of the day here, when it would be morning in Japan. Distract myself with work.

But working at GlobalGiving requires us to be on top of disasters, and much of the day we were scrambling like crazy to figure out what the scale of the damage was, where our project partners in Japan were, and how we could make sure to channel the outpouring of generosity that was already hitting our servers starting first thing in the morning. So I became glued to livestreamed TV from Japan. I couldn't get away from it. Knowing all I do about how difficult it is for laypeople to help directly, it was difficult to resist the feeling that I needed to get on a plane back home. Maybe I could get through to my friends and family that way.

It's inevitable when disasters happen that commentators point out that philanthropists might want to wait until after the immediate relief phase is over. But as I kept up my stream of emails into Japan, checking on existing organizations we work with, and looking for the right new organizations, I've been struck by how everyone I have been communicating with is so heartened to hear that someone wants to help, that someone out there cares enough from thousands of miles away to reach out.

GlobalGiving is working hard to identify the best local partners on the ground to receive these funds. Already, our immediate disaster response partners are having an impact.

Save the Children is working to deliver psychosocial support aimed at children, establishing child-friendly spaces in affected communities, providing support to parents, teachers, and other key caregivers, and working alongside local communities to train volunteers in sounseling techniques to help children after this disaster. International Medical Corps has already put together relief teams and supplies and have been in contact with partners in Japan in the first day of the disaster.

In the coming days we'll continue to identify additional Japanese organizations providing relief following the earthquake and tsunami and will keep you updated by email about how the funds are used and the impact your donation is making.

I was glued to the livestream most of Sunday too. It was Monday morning in Japan and TV reporters were positioned at train stations to cover how people were getting back to work. But many stations unexpectedly were closed and people ended up waiting for taxis instead. Then, the litany of train lines that were not running came on–for close to 5 minutes. That spoke volumes. It only made me realize that I had an unspoken hope that life would start returning to normal–and it wasn't going to. At least for now. The city of Tokyo is at a virtual standstill. Friends in the suburbs are wandering around looking for ATMs with cash and stores with food. Rolling blackouts are finally being implemented. Everyone–including people who weren't directly affected–is going around in a daze.

And yes, I got through to everybody Friday evening. Everyone I know is safe. But to have thousands of people willing to help means more than I can say.


Note: The image of band-aid and Japanese flag was designed and donated to GlobalGiving to use by Robert Troutman. Thank you!

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About GlobalGiving’s Disaster Response

When a disaster strikes, recovery efforts led by people who live and work in affected communities are often overlooked and underfunded. GlobalGiving is changing this reality. Since 2004, we've been shifting decision-making power to crises-affected communities through trust-based grantmaking and support.

We make it easy, quick, and safe to support people on the ground who understand needs in their communities better than anyone else.

They were there long before the news cameras arrived, and they’ll be there long after the cameras leave. They know how to make their communities more resilient to future disasters, and they’re already hard at work. GlobalGiving puts donations and grants directly into their hands. Because the status quo—which gives the vast majority of funding to a few large organizations—doesn’t make sense.

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