What We Can Do to Help Victims of the Disaster in Japan

By Mary Jaksch

Do you feel helpless when you see a catastrophe unfold like the earthquake and tsunami in Japan?

So many people urgently need support. What can we do to help them?

Here is a list of things you can do:

1. Donate to relief funds

There is a huge need for money in order to fund rescue efforts to find those who are still alive, and care for those who have survived – but have lost family member, friends, and livelihoods. You can donate directly to the Japanese Red Cross.

2. Join All Hands Volunteers

As you can imagine, there will need to be an ongoing effort to help rebuild the devastated countryside. One way to help with the aftermath of the catastrophe is to join or support the All Hands Volunteers. They helped rebuild six villages in Phuket after the Boxing Day tsunami in 2004. (I’ve added my name as a potential volunteer)

3. Make contact with Japanese people in your home town

If you don’t know any Japanese people, contact the Japanese Association in your region. Ask if there is something you can do. Maybe you can cook a meal, or offer a bed for people’s relatives who have fled Japan.

4. Use Loving-Kindness Meditation

There is a way you can connect with those who suffer through loving-kindness meditation. Here is how to do it:

1. Sit quietly with upright posture.
2. Pay tender regard to your breath, flowing in and out.
3. When you are settled, direct your mind to those suffering in Japan and say these phrases silently on your out-breaths (take a few breaths in between each phrase):

May you dwell in the heart;
May you be free from suffering;
May you be healed;
May you be at peace.

If you have relatives or friends in Japan, check out the Crisis Response Page that Google has set up for the Earthquake in Japan.

Please share your thoughts on this terrible disaster in the comments.

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