The news of the earthquake/Tsunami in Japan has dominated every major news outlet. Before you pull out your wallet, make sure you are giving to a legitimate organization where your donation will be chiefly used to help those in need. Secondly, you want to make sure the organization is providing resources directly to the area. While it is great to always donate to organizations that provide disaster relief, if you want to specifically help folks in a particular area that actually serve it, take a deep breath and do at least several minutes of research first.
One legitimate organization that is filling a direct need is Shelterbox
Author Maureen Johnson alerted us of the Shelterbox drive she was doing to help those devastated by water and rumbling in Japan. If you want to make sure the funds go directly to this area and not other places where Shelterbox is working, use Maureen’s name when it asks whose name you would like to donate in. She does not receive any of the proceeds. It merely tracks the donation for the correct fundraiser. Last time she ran a fund drive, $15,000 was raised to fund 16 Shelterboxes. That is enough to possibly house and helo about 160 folks!
.Inside the heavy green box:
- A high-quality tent that sleeps 10.
- Thermal blankets and ground sheets to protect against contaminated ground.
- Survival tools, such as a small hoe, wire cutters, a small axe and the like.
- A portable multi-fuel or woodburning cooking stove, plus utensils and bowls.
- Small toys or gifts for children such as paper and markers, etc.
The actual ShelterBox can also be used to keep things off the ground, to place blankets in and use as a baby crib, or to keep a small or injured pet safe (without the lid on, of course). It can also be used for hauling as it slides along the ground or floats when empty.
The contents are adapted to the environment. In some cases, cots may be substituted or if disaster relief is well-networked, recipients may only need tents.