Giving Back: Ways Students can Help the Japan Relief Effort

Allison Leavey, Journalism Student

Since March 11, 2011, the world has been closely following the shocking news of the 8.9 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Each day, news sources report on the tragedies resulting from the widespread destruction and nuclear power plant failure.

For young people, news of devastation can make one feel sympathetic, afraid, and often times extremely helpless. However, countless organizations are now giving people the chance to give back and help the victims of the Japan earthquake.

Perhaps the simplest way to help begins with a text. Many organizations have established ways one can donate straight from the phone. The American Red Cross as well as UNICEF has established a texting campaign to raise money for the cause. Simply text REDCROSS to 90999, or JAPAN to 864233 to donate $10. One hundred percent of the donation will be sent to relief efforts in Japan. If you would like to donate more, visit UNICEF’s website and give your desired amount.

Organization, “Students Rebuild” has partnered with, and their project, “Paper Cranes for Japan.” Each paper crane received will result in the Bezos Family foundation donating $2 to Architecture for Humanity in support of Japan rebuilding efforts. Their goal is to reach 100,000 paper cranes, resulting in a total donation of $200,000. For more information, visit Paper Cranes For Japan’s facebook page at, or to learn more about the project. Each crane counts! Have a party and see how many you can make.

Have an iTunes account? Use part of your balance to donate money to the American Red Cross. Or, buy the album, “Songs for Japan,” a 38-track download that features well known artists such as Lady GaGa, Katy Perry, Bruno Mars, John Lennon, and many more.

Facebook’s popular programs such as FarmVille, CityVille, and FrontierVille are also offering ways to donate. By purchasing sweet potatoes in CityVille, radishes from FarmVille, or Kobe cows in FrontierVille, 100% of the proceeds will be donated to Save the Children’s relief efforts. The gaming company has a goal of raising $2 million.

There are always ways to help us feel in control of our world. Start today to see what you can do to help those in need. And remember, even the littlest gesture goes a long way.