Having watched about the dreadful disaster in New Zealand and now Japan, people are asking for all sorts of relief aid to be sent to these areas. Might I be so bold as to offer some advice here based on extensive experience in this field? When I was helping the Kurdish people back in 1991, there were all sorts of people wanting to help and all asking if the general public would donate things that were needed. This is wonderful apart from one thing - who is going to handle all the things that are collected? Who will pick it up, take it to a depot, package it all, list it, load it onto an aircraft - that's if there is one for this purpose - meet the aircraft at the other side taking control of the goods and then distribute it?
The questions I have asked are but the tip of the iceberg. The logistics of doing an exercise like this is far more than most people can comprehend. It is easy to donate something, but then what will happen to it? I am not asking you all to not do it, what I am asking is that all of you make sure that the place you take it is going to be handling it properly and can answer those questions I have posed. If they can't, then take it elsewhere or find out who is handling it properly.
There are always cases of people meaning well, but then causing huge problems with stockpiles of items that have no way of being moved or flown out to the area it was intended for. The one charity I saw who was always incredible in their work and spent their monies donated to them properly, was the International Red Cross. If you donate to them, you can be assured your money is safe and will be used to purchase what is needed. Be very careful with lots of the others as I know they were having governments fill their planes and pay for them. Where the actual money they received went was a mystery to me if the government paid for everything!
You can donate here and all money will go to The International Red Cross. The button you click on takes you right to their site where you can donate direct to them.
Please, do give and help where you can for these poor people. It doesn't matter we keep hearing on the news that Japan is a rich country and can withstand it all. The fact is, these are human beings who are suffering, there will be animals suffering and starving as well. Let's not forget the animals in all of this too. Do give, but give wisely. Make sure your donation will go to the right place or will even get there at all. Ask the questions I did and then you can be more assured you are giving in a way that actually will help where you wanted it to.
To see details about relief aid in Japan, to donate and how to help CLICK HERE