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Giving in the Wake of a Disaster

We recently had a question from someone asking if we know of anyone in the local area organizing the collection and shipment of supplies to Japan in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami. We do not.

It is understandable to have an urge to do something tangible, something hands-on in circumstances like this. However, here was our reply:

“We don't know of any local projects, but we do know that in these situations, cash is much more useful, especially in a case when the infrastructure is damaged and shipping goods and distributing them is a nightmare. Sending well-meaning but unsolicited supplies only makes more work for those on the ground. The Red Cross or Salvation Army would be your best bet right now for making designated monetary donations, which they can use in conjunction with their Japanese counterparts.”

The Chronicle of Philanthropy has a terrific article titled “A Donor’s Guide to Giving after a Disaster”, which we recommend you read and save.

 Posted by Kim Connolly

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