News and analysis
March 11, 2011

Responses From Charities to the Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami

Japanese Red Cross

Japanese Red Cross members work inside a medical tent set up to treat tsunami victims.

Updated on March 18.

The strongest-ever earthquake to hit Japan triggered a tsunami on Friday  that moved across the Pacific Ocean. Japanese news outlets are reporting that about 1,800 people are confirmed dead, and some sources fear the toll could be as high as 10,000.

Following are updates based on items submitted by charitable organizations and other sources. The Chronicle has not independently verified them.

Action Against Hunger: ACF International is working with local and national government agencies in the Phillippines to help more than 45,000 people evacuate from the Cataduanes area, which is at high risk of tsunamis.

Adventist Development and Relief Agency: The organization announced through Twitter that it would spend $25,000 on initial relief efforts and that it has staff members at work in Tokyo to aid people stranded by the earthquake.

Aidmatrix: The nonprofit, which provides supply-chain managment technology for international-aid efforts, said Friday that needs for in-kind and transportation donations were still being assessed but that it would post them as soon as possible at

American Humane Association: The organization has created a special fund to collect donations to help animals harmed in the disaster.

American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee: The organization says that it has reached out to the Japanese government to offer help and is assessing the situation in the Pacific now. It has also set up a special relief fund for the disaster. The Society for Humanistic Judaism issued a press release urging members and congregations to support the fund.

American Red Cross: The Red Cross dispatched a disaster management expert to Japan on Sunday to work with an international council on the response to the disaster, according to a press release. In the U.S. states affected by the tsunami, the Red Cross said it helped shelter about 2,500 evacuated people. The organization has also started to raise money on Causes, a site that is used by people on Facebook and through mobile giving. A call for people to send text messages to support the victims is a popular topic on Twitter. The American Red Cross said Monday that it is in close communication with the Red Cross in Japan and that the Japanese organization is accepting donations made through the U.S. is waiting on a request for help from its Japanese counterpart.

Americares: The organization said it was sending an emergency-response manager to Japan and will send emergency teams and medical supplies as needed.

CAFAmerica: The organization is collecting money for assistance to Japanese humanitarian-relief efforts.

Caritas: The international organization said Monday that its Japanese branch is working with the Catholic diocese in the Sendai area to see how it can help. Caritas doesn't plan a large response to the initial disaster, but will help where needed. They plan to focus their efforts on the rebuilding phase.

Catholic Charities USA: Larry Snyder, Catholic Charities USA's president, said in a written release that the organization has contacted Catholic Charities in Guam, American Samoa, Hawaii, and on the West Coast to see if help is needed after the Tsunami. Caritas Japan, an affiliated organization, is handling disaster services in that country.

Catholic Medical Mission Board: The organization works in many countries at risk from the tsunami. They are readying support as needed.

Catholic Relief Services: The organization said Friday it has personnel standing by throughout the pacific, waiting for requests for help from Caritas Japan.

Charity Navigator: As donations to organizations increase, the site has posted a guide to donating responsibly and offers ratings of large disaster-relief organizations.

Convoy of Hope: The Christian charity in Springfield, Mo., has teams staging relief efforts in the Philippines as Japanese officials work to contain their nuclear power plants and open air traffic. The charity said in a press release Monday that it will bring 100 water filtration units to Japan, as well as food and supplies they are buying in the region.

Council on Foundations: The organization compiled a list of resources for grant makers who want to help the relief effort.

Doctors Without Borders: Two Doctors Without Borders three-person teams arrived in Sendai early Saturday, according to the organization. The teams are working with local authoriities to determine if further aid is needed, but it appears that medical demands are being met, according to the organization. The youth-focused charity set up a Facebook page for people to upload photos of paper cranes as a symbol of support for the people of Japan. By Sunday morning, more than 3,700 people had "liked" the page.

Food for the Hungry: The international Christian organization has a team in Japan working with Japan International Food for the Hungry.

Foundation Source: The web site set up a special "Japan Earthquake Crisis" page listing nonprofits working in Japan.

Give2Asia: The San Fransisco organization set up two funds to give directly to Asian charities helping with disaster recovery in the region.

Global Giving: The organization has set up a fund to benefit charities working on disaster relief in Japan and areas affected by the tsunami.

Global Voices: The blogger network has set up a page for special coverage of the earthquake and tsunami, and also created a Twitter list of writers currently in Japan. Google's philanthropic arm has set up a special disaster-relief page for the earthquake, including a list of links to resources, a tool to find missing people, and a map of the area affected by the earthquake.

Helping Hand (USA) For Relief and Development: The organization has started a "Muslims for Japan" campaign Web site to collect donations, and said they have six collection points in Tokyo and nearby cities for donations of blankets, diapers, flashlights and other goods.

Humanitarian Defense: The Reno-based, security-focused aid group was preparing a team to provide humanitarian help. The organization said in a news release that it has received calls to assist several other relief groups.

International Medical Corps: The aid organization deployed an emergency response team, according to a post on its web site Saturday.

International Rescue Committee: The organization has put a response team on alert for deployment.

Japan Society: The New York-based organization set up a relief fund to aid American and Japanese organizations working on the recovery, as well as a special section of its site with resources to find and contact people in Japan. The fund raising Web site set up a special page listing charities working to help Japan.

K.I.D.S.: The organization said it was staging relief efforts from Indonesia and other Asian countries while the nucler situation is contained. They are working with partners to collect things like vitamins, water, blanketss and more.

Medical Teams International: The organization said it is working with partners to help provide water, food and other need to survivors in Japan. They've also set up a fund.

Mercy Corps: The organization is working with its partner charity Peace Winds Japan to accept donations. In an e-mail Monday, the organization said Peace Winds had helicoptered tents, blankets, cooking fuel and more to survivors. Mercy Corps' own global emergency director was scheduled to leave for Japan on Tuesday to help the effort.

mGive Foundation: The mobile giving organization set up $10 text-to-give options for four large international aid organizations, including Convoy of Hope (TSUNAMI to 50555), American Red Cross Relief (REDCROSS to 90999), World Relief Corporation of National Association of Evangelicals (WAVE to 50555), and GlobalGiving (JAPAN to 50555).

Mobile Giving Foundation: The mobile giving organization also set up $10 donation options for both U.S. and Canadian cell phone users. In the U.S., the organization is giving to Save the Children (JAPAN or TSUNAMI to 20222), World Vision (4JAPAN or 4TSUNAMI to 20222), and Mercy Corps (MERCY to 25283).

National Disaster Search Dog Foundation: Six of the organizations "Canine Disaster Search Teams" arrived in Japan on Saturday. They began working on the rescure effort Tuesday morning.

NetHope: The information and communications technology organization is working with its partner organizations to provide support. Tuesday it issued an appeal for communications technology donations to its member organizations.

Network for Good: The online-giving organization has created a special page listing organizations working on the crisis, complete with how they are responding and links to donate to each.

Operation USA: The organization says it is preparing to aid as necessary.

Oxfam America: The organization's Web site this morning displayed the headline "Worst Quake in Japan on Record" and asked visitors to donate to its Saving Lives 24/7 Fund.

PayPal: The online money-transfer site has pledged to donate transation fees collected from March 11 to April 30 to organizations helping with disaster relief.

Project HOPE: The humanitarian organization is assembling emergency kits to send to Japan as needed and working with PH-Japan, formerly Project HOPE Japan, to see how the organizations can work together.

Rotary International: The Rotary Foundation on Monday set up the "Rotary Japan and Pacific Islands Disaster Recovery Fund," which will support projects in the affected areas.

Salvation Army USA: The organization this morning tweeted that its Hawaiian branch is ready to assist with damage on the Pacific Coast of the United States. The organization's Minnesota and North Dakota chapter also tweeted that the organization has 1,200 staff members at work in Japan.

Save the Children: The charity said Friday it is mobilizing people and supplies to respond to the earthquake. The organization has worked in Japan for 25 years. On Saturday, it announced it had partnered with online game company Zynga to add calls to donate in the company's games. By Tuesday, Zynga game players had donated more than $1-million, according to the charity. The charity has sent an emergency team to assess needs in the worst-affected areas.

Soles4Souls: The organization said it was assessing the situation, and had as many as 100,000 shoes ready for quick reponse.

Shelter Box: The aid charity posted a notice Saturday had a team on the ground assessing the housing needs in Japan.

UJA-Federation of New York: The organization is working with the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee to collect and distribute funds in support of the recovery effort.

United States Internal Revenue Service: The IRS sent a notice Friday reminding donors that contributions to charities that provide assistance to people in other countries qualifies as a tax-deductible contribution as long as a U.S. organization has control over use of the funds. Advice on charitable contributions are available on the IRS web site.

World Vision: The charity this morning reported that its offices in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, and the Solomon Islands are on alert to assist in tsunami response. A team is also on standby for possible deployment.

This list will be updated regularly. Send us any news reports about disaster relief to

Derek Lieu, Peter Panepento, Caroline Preston, and Nicole Wallace contributed to this report.