I can donate to the (done), I can donate to (done) or one of the other wonderful charitable agencies who are there helping now. But what else can I do?
I ache for the people who have been devastated by this incredible tragedy! Our youngest son spent a year in Ofunato which you see in many of the photos showing the tsunami damage - that's Ofunato with the car sitting on the rooftop. The town sits north of Sendai at the end of a long narrow bay. They were very prepared for tsunamis after being devastated by one in 1960. They build a massive wall that closed at the first inkling of an earthquake and practiced frequently. BUT who knew that Mother Nature would cause such a massive quake that would send all that water funneling their. My son hasn't been able to contact anyone, so he has no idea how his family and friends are. It was 16 years ago that he lived there... the year of the Kobe quake... 1995.
I was reading some postings of groups on Ravelry who are hoping to send handknit, crochet and woven blankets and hats and mittens to help the people of Japan. It's a somewhat naive idea as the cost of transporting these things would be great, but it is understandable that fiber artists want to help people who are suffering in a very personal way. Donating to Red Cross is imperative (and I found another great group that is supported by Rotary - Shelterbox) but this idea of sending handcrafted items of love, care and support is also important. Hopefully a way can be found to make it work... The hardest part is sitting by and not being able to help in some way! I am obsessed with finding up-to-date information, but I want to do more than send some money. I wish I could get on a plane and physically help in some way!
I heard back from my Rotary friend in Plattsburgh who coordinates the exchange student program this morning. She sent the email I sent her yesterday to all her Rotarian friends and has had several responses all ready. A Rotarian from Calif suggested we contact some very able former Japanese exchange students who may be able to help us find a way to donate handmade items to people who are cold and miserably distressed. I will contact them today. Also they suggested WORLD VISION wvi.org. I'll look into that too. I found a woman in England through Ravelry who is collecting 8" squares to put together into blankets. http://www.ravelry.com/discuss/japan-earthquake-how-to-help/1569950/26-50#42
By working together... we'll figure out a way to do help in some way! My mantra... Maybe we can't do everything... but we can do SOMETHING!