Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Japan Donation Update

I feel the need to explain my decision to go with the Red Cross when the time comes to donate the funds raised from the ASIHTOS shirts. Many have expressed reservations because of previous experiences with the Red Cross. The only thing that would be an ideal solution is personally handing a blanket and a bottled water to a cold thirsty Japanese citizen. None of us here can do that.

A lot has changed with the Red Cross in the last decade. Understandably, many will still have issues with that as a donation destination. However, the Japanese Red Cross Society has posted the following message on it's website

If you want to donate money to the affected population of earthquake and tsunami, please contact your national Red Cross/Crescent society, which may have already launched fundraising campaign within your country.

This message, coupled with the fact that the American Red Cross has a donation system allowing you to request your donation be used to specifically help Japan is what I used to reach my decision. I know this isn't going to make everyone happy, and for that I am sorry.

The ARC site also goes on to say this "....On those rare occasions when donations exceed American Red Cross expenses for a specific disaster, contributions are used to prepare for and serve victims of other disasters." This sentiment is echoed by the GiveWell blog, as it states "If you do give, your gift will probably be used (a) by the charity you give it to, for activities in a different country; (b) for non-disaster-relief-and-recovery efforts in Japan."

Since Japan has requested assistance from the American Red Cross, some Red Cross funds will be used immediately, but there's a possibility that these funds will be used for future recovery efforts in Japan. That is likely where your shirt dollars will be going.

I wanted to be absolutely clear on that, so that no one got the wrong impression. I am fine with that, as Japan has a very long road ahead of it. Recovering from this will be no easy task. If these dollars go to help someone 3 or 4 months out rather than tomorrow, it doesn't matter to me. My efforts here, in the big scheme of things are minimal. The idea behind this project is that I felt like I should do something....rather than nothing.

Thank you for your continued support.

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