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Cause And Effect

Five simple ways to support relief efforts in Japan

We’re not usually the preachy types, and we’re definitely not writing this email from atop a soapbox. It’s just that every mom we know seems to have the same thing on her mind this week—the children traumatized, displaced, and orphaned by the disaster in Japan. So we thought it would be helpful to round up some of the easiest ways to lend a hand.

Save the Children has opened a child-friendly space in Japan to help the more than 100,000 children who have been displaced from their homes. They’re trying to raise $20 million for this specific cause, and estimate that their efforts will be ongoing for three years.

A $256.40 donation to Unicef purchases one “School-in-a-Box” kit and helps set up a temporary school for at least 40 children.

Shelter Box is setting up temporary shelters for families in the hardest-hit regions of Japan. A $1,000 donation purchases a complete Shelter Box, which provides temporary housing to an extended family of up to ten people. (But donations of any amount are welcome.)

Text-donations are certainly the easiest way to offer support. To send $10, just text REDCROSS to 90999 to support the American Red Cross efforts; text JAPAN to 80888 to support the Salvation Army; text TSUNAMI or SUNAMI to 50555 to support Convoy of Hope; or text JAPAN or TSUNAMI to 20222 to support Save the Children.

Alternatively, many companies are sending all or a portion of profits to help Japan’s victims. A few examples: Pingg is donating 100% of profits from its Japan Disaster Relief collection directly to the American Red Cross. All profits from the sale of Tatcha’s Benefit Gift Box go directly to Save the Children’s Japan Earthquake Tsunami Children in Emergency Fund. And Curly Girl Design is donating 10% of online sales through April 15 to the American Red Cross.

Keep in mind most organizations are saying they aren’t ready for in-kind donations (like toys, clothes, or school supplies). And, yeah, there are scammers out there pretending to be relief organizations. (Don’t even get us started.) So for now, it’s best to stick with financial contributions to well-established organizations through their authorized websites (or via text).