Helping Folks in Japan - Please Consider A Donation

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Ken St John
The past few days have been difficult. I spent more than six years in Japan in the late 80's and early 90's. I actually lived in the Tokyo area, at Yokota Air Base on the western edge of the city, but had many occasions to visit other parts of the country. Went quite a few times to Misawa Air Base on the northern edge of the main island (Honshu).

I've been in touch with several friends and former associates and they are all safe. But, the immensity of this disaster is virtually indescribable. Although the news coverage has been extensive, it seems the need to support recovery efforts is not getting as much attention as the disaster in Haiti did. That's unfortunate as even though Japan is an advanced country, the needs of ordinary people who are faced with this level of loss is no different than those faced by the people of Haiti.

One of the primary ways we can help is through the Red Cross. Not only are they working directly with the Japanese, but the Red Cross is also very active on the US military bases in Japan.

http://www.redcross.org/portal/site...toid=f9efd2a1ac6ae210VgnVCM10000089f0870aRCRD

Speaking of the US military … once again my former comrades have jumped in with both feet to help out. They make me incredibly proud. The fighter wing at Misawa is the closest base to the tsunami area, but they escaped any direct damage. They will no doubt be quite busy supporting rescue and recovery efforts. The folks at Yokota are also quite busy. Their normal mission is airlift of both people and cargo, so I'm sure they will be doubly busy in the days and weeks to come.

Please keep the folks in Japan in your hearts.

Ken
 
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I continue to be in awe of the devastation and of the Japanese spirit and strength each time I read or hear about the events in Japan. Donated as son as I could. Times like this is when we all need to come together. Japan is in my prayers.
 
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On behalf of my countrymen, I would like to thank you, Ken, and everybody else who has made a donation. Believe me, every little bit is going to count because not only are there about 20,000 dead and missing, but almost 450,000 are in evacuation centers. Many of those people have absolutely nothing to go back to because the tsunamis washed away everything they owned.
 
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Isamu,
I am a loss of words and can just pray for you all... I've just heard that radioactive levels where you live (Tokyo) have raised from 10 to 100 times depending on the area of the city...
 
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I donated! I did a stint over there teaching english. One of the best times of my young post college life. I made quite a few friends whom I still keep in contact with. Luckily they're alright back in Japan.
 
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Ken St John
Thank you all, very much. My 6 years in Japan were terrific.

Again, the Red Cross is helping on the ground in Japan and at our military bases throughout the country. A lot of bang for the buck.

I've been reading the Facebook pages for both Yokota Air Base & Misawa Air Base. Our folks are really pitching in and working hard. Here's a first hand account from a young airman at Yokota (which is on the eastern edge of the Tokyo metro area):
 
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I'd love to and I will help - but I shall not be giving my money to any of these big charities. The reason? Only a very small fraction of your money makes it to where you intended it to go in the first place.

Just a quick glance at the fancy cars their directors drive will tell you everything you need to know about the ethos of some of these well known 'charities'.
 
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Common! The Red Cross is a wonderful organization and they do all they can to ensure that as much as possible goes directly to the people that need it. Anyone who would like to donate should feel ensured that the money will be well cared for and spent to help the people in need. There are a number of other fine help organizations as well that you can choose if you want to.

Choose wich ever one you want to but please donate, there are 1/2 million people that are suffering a hardship we can't even imagine and they have nothing to go home to, in so many cases it has all been swept away.

Japan has been there genererously for other countries when they had disasters, lets pay homage to a generous people and help them too!

If we all just add $25 it will go a very long way!!!
 
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Ken St John
Thank you all very much. And, in case anyone's curious, I'm nobody. Not an official of the Red Cross, not a Hollywood A-Lister, not a politician. Just a guy who spent a lot of great years in Japan.

And, the main reason I mentioned the Red Cross is that they are on the ground helping the Japanese people AND are active on all of the US military bases as well. There are a lot of worthy organizations out there.

I was just reading that the Red Cross asked for donations of warm clothing at Misawa Air Base for the off-base community and received more than they could transport. Many such stories abound.

If you're at all interested in many of the US military activities (and I try to check these as often as I can), I'd recommend these sites:

http://www.stripes.com/

http://vimeo.com/afntokyo

(AFN is American Forces Network ... the new name for the old American Forces Radio and Television Service [AFRTS])

I also came across this Google page. It lets you donate directly to the Japanese Red Cross. That would probably miss the US Bases ... but it certainly will get directly to the Japanese people.

http://www.google.com/crisisresponse/japanquake2011.html

Cheers!!

Ken
 
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I'd love to and I will help - but I shall not be giving my money to any of these big charities. The reason? Only a very small fraction of your money makes it to where you intended it to go in the first place.

Just a quick glance at the fancy cars their directors drive will tell you everything you need to know about the ethos of some of these well known 'charities'.

It's easy enough to look up executive salaries:

http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=3277

The American Red Cross execs make about 1/2 million each. United Way execs make $1 million/year.

I agree your money will go further with a smaller charity, but that can be difficult with Japan. I like Water Missions International, but they don't have permits to operate in Japan, and are waiting to get them.
 

Butlerkid

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My understanding is that almost 91 cents of every dollar given to the Red Cross is used to help others. You can't get much better than that!

With as much money as they collect, you really do want qualified folks running the business.
 
Joined
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My understanding is that almost 91 cents of every dollar given to the Red Cross is used to help others.

With as much money as they collect, you really do want qualified folks running the business.

Since they have paid employees, much of that 91% is going to salaries, so it's not that meaningful.

There's a lot of bad stories about the Red Cross, but it's hard to know what to believe.

I figure with the Red cross, the best donation is blood. They can't give that to their executives. :)
 
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Friends -

Please keep this humanitarian thread on track: let's not try to cast aspersions, or assign political interpretations to whatever charities our members choose to support.

Research an agency and then, if you are able to contribute to the effort, feel free to share your efforts. :smile:
 
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