Often the first thought in everyone's mind after a disaster like the earthquake in Japan is "How can I help?" It will take the efforts of many people and more money than we can comprehend to rebuild. But with everyone doing their part, whether it's financial help, physically helping, or spreading the word about ways to help or some combination it can be done. It will take time, along time, but it's not impossible.
But a word of caution is in order here as well. In the immediate aftermath there is a ruch to help and many unscrupulous individuals know that. So before donating any money or goods, please carefully check out where these money and goods are going. Make sure that this is a reputable and trustworthy organization. Let's make sure that our efforts are making the maximum impact for good possible and not filling some criminal's pockets.
Here are some well known organizations that have stood the test of time and ways to help throught them.
American Red Cross - Here is the link to the donations page. On this page you can choose where you want your donation to go. The minimum donation amount is $10 and Visa, Discover, American Express and Master Card is excepted. There is also an option to donate through Amazon. Financial contributions are tax deductible.
You can also donate $10 by texting REDCROSS to 90999. Charges will appear on your bill or be deducted from your prepaid balance. Text STOP to 90999 to stop or HELP to 90999 for help. You can find more about this program here.
The Salvation Army - Here is the link to the donation page. This page is the designated page for donating for the relief effort in Japan. Visa, Discover, American Express and MasterCard of accepted.
The Salvation Army also has a text to donate program. You can donate by texting the words "Japan" or Quake" to 80888.
Save the Children - Here is Save the Children's page for donating to the Japan relief effort. Save the Children provides for children and their families.
World Vision - World vision's site says they are mobilizing supplies and programs in response to quake in Japan. Here is their donation page.
International Medical Corps - They are currently putting together relief teams as well as supplies to be sent out as needed. Here is the link to International Medical Corps donation page.