I'm Still Listening: Help Japan / by Leslie

I am still haunted by what happened in Japan. I am still listening and tuned in and I am not able to write or think about very much else. 

The TV has so far been a poor source of information. It seems to be playing the same videos over and over and with the 15 second clips, it's easy to gloss over the details. 

I am trying to dig a little deeper, listening to people's stories, trying to absorb the enormity of what happened. I can't tune this one out, I want to feel it and experience it and try to stand beside the Japanese and offer what little I can. 

Each day brings new information about what happened, what is still happening. I feel helpless but I wanted to call attention to a few things that I have seen.

James White at SignalNoise raised $7000 for the Canadian Red Cross designing and selling the poster above. He's sold out of the first run, but he may offer a second run. ---{Update 03/18/11: You can now purchase a poster from the second run here for $29.99. All proceeds go to the Canadian Red Cross.}---  

---{Updated 03/18/11 to remove article by Dr Josef Oehmen. Please see this.}---

The Big Picture at Boston.com has two new sets of photos (the first set I linked to on my previous post). There is also "Japan: Earthquake Aftermath" and "Japan: Vast Devastation". Warning though, these pictures made me cry, especially the ones of the children. ---{Updated 03/19/11: There are now four more sets of photos, bring the total to seven sets. Japan: New fears as the tragedy deepens, Japan: Continuing crisis, Japan: Hopes fade for finding more survivors, Japan: One week later}---

A man and child look out over destroyed homes March 12, a day after the tsunami and earthquake hit northeastern Japan. (Kyodo/Reuters)

People wait to be rescued atop a building with the letters "SOS" in Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture March 12. (Yomiuri/Reuters)

Officials in protective gear check for signs of radiation on children who are from the evacuation area near the Fukushima Daini nuclear plant in Koriyama. (Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters)

Cargo containers are strewn about in Sendai Japan March 12. (Itsuo Inouye/Asociated Press)

Oliver Reichenstein, the CEO of iA Inc. in Toyko, has an informative twitter stream.

This video showing 6 minutes of utter destruction is unreal. You will need to log into Facebook, but it will help your understand how quickly the tsunami destroyed these towns. The video starts with a dry street and in six minutes houses are being washed away. It's devastating. ---{Update 03/19/11: Here is the video on You Tube}---

A report from the American Red Cross detailing thier efforts.

Wieden+Kennedy designed a poster too. W+K Studios is printing the poster to raise relief funds. You can donate $25, $50 or more with funds being distributed to the non-profit organization of choice by the W+K Tokyo office.

The New York Times has an interactive feature, Satellite Photos of Japan, Before and After the Quake and Tsunami. You can use a slider to compare the two images. It's a very real look at how everything is just gone.

At Hope Letters you can leave a comment to the emergency workers or the students in Japan, which will be translated into Japanese. I believe this is a work in progress, it doesn't look like there are distribution channels yet. So far your letter appears as a comment with a Japanese translation underneath, but this is such a good idea that I hope it finds the support that it needs.

Before you donate to any organization, be sure to check out the FBI's guidelines on avoiding fraud. Many people are out there to help, but many others use this opportunity to exploit others. Be aware or simply donate to a known charitable organization:

Canadian Red Cross
American Red Cross
Doctors without Borders
Global Living

Canada: Text REDCROSS to 30333 to donate $10
USA: Text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10

---{Update 03/19/11: I have been reading some opinions that have suggested that the Red Cross is not the best place to put your money. Doctor's Without Borders may be a more efficiently managed program and Shelterbox is also getting some attention for being an effective first responder. Regardless of the politics though, Red Cross is a international, well-established organization and that is where I choose to donate to before I knew I should have given somewhere else. It seems however that what everyone can agree on is that it's better to donate WITHOUT designating what the funds are to be used for, so that the orgnaziation can help others who may need it more after needs have been met in the designated place. Oops again! I guess I will know better next time.}---

If I come across anything else I will update this post, and if there is anything that you have seen that you've found informative, please share it in the comments.

To the people of Japan, I love your country and I love you. I am thinking about you and learning about what happened to you. I stand with you and I wish I could wrap you up in a blanket and bring you to my home. I wish you comfort in this time of grief and I hope that you are able to recover and rebuild.