Friday, March 11, 2011

Prayers and Support to Japan

"Hundreds have been killed after the worst earthquake in generations struck off the northeast coast of Japan on Friday, setting off a devastating tsunami that destroyed lands of coastal territory and fanned out across the Pacific Ocean, threatening everything in its path.
The 8.9-magnitude earthquake -- the world's fifth-largest since 1900 and the biggest in Japan in 140 years -- struck at 2:46 p.m. local time, shaking buildings violently in Tokyo for several minutes and sending millions fleeing for higher ground, reported in the Los Angeles Times." All Voices. Org

The world is just beginning to understand the impact of the Earthquake and Tsunami to hit Japan. This morning I woke and had the strange urge to watch TV, something I'm opposed to first thing in the morning, but the urge was overwhelming. What I saw sent shivers up my spine and the impact of that earthquake was en route to Hawaii and California. This is what I saw.

I was panicked. I called my family alerted them to the situation and we watched in horror the images to unfold. My family lives in what geologists call The Pacific Ring of Fire. Here is a quick diagram that highlights the tendency of this area to have earthquakes.

image source
Hence the concentric ripple effect of the earthquake as seen in this Tsunami Travel Time Chart

Nothing could be worse than seeing a distant disaster strike and also impact your family living 1000 of miles away. The world is becoming smaller and smaller as our knowledge increases.

Laguna Beach on a Peaceful Day. Image source.

It has also been devastating to watch the recent lists of earthquakes such as those in New Zealand and Haiti. Since we are at the beginning of our reaction, and President Obama, is just now speaking at his new conference, there is still much to do and organize. There are few places that you can send support to assist in Aid and Relief, but I wanted to share these resources and update as organizations become ready to receive support.

Over $25K has already been raised in relief aid for Japan. Never heard of GlobalGiving? Actress like Vanessa Hudgens and Hayden Panettiere have worked with Global Giving in the past. It's a well known organization that will accept all donations, big or small, for helping those in Japan. To donate $25, more or less, please click here

vanessa hudgens global giving neutrogena 09
Vanessa and Hayden Wave's for Change with GlobalGiving in Malibu, Calif. June 2010. Image Just Jared.

Another option, is the English-based Shelter Box. There are individuals in the Florida, USA division  that are already organizing to bring relief to Japan. But, I want to promote YA author, Maureen Johnson, that raised $15K for Shelterbox to send to victims of the New Zealand earthquake! By donating to Shelterbox, Maureen is also giving away to one lucky person that donates to ShelterBox Japan relief aid her one and only copy of her yet-to-be-published book, THE NAME OF THE STAR. 

Maureen at a recent book launch.

Remember to donate in the name of Maureen Johnson and Tweet #thelastlittleshelterbox or #nameoftheshelterbox so that she knows you want to win a first edition copy of THE NAME OF THE STAR, which publishes in September.

Raku Kanji Charm - Honor Necklace
Miya Endo Pottery Honor Necklace

In the very first image of this post, I included a picture of a beautiful Japanese Garden located in Hatley Park and Gardens, Victoria, B.C. There is also a smaller image of a stone with a necklace that in kanji script stands for Harmony and Peace. The necklace was created by Miya Endo, a potter locate in Dixon, New Mexico that sells her Japanese traditional designs at her MiyAPottery Etsy Shop. Her humble prices for necklaces, at $15 per hand made necklace, comes as a surprise as she is billed as a National Geographic Destination in the Four Corners Region!  

Miya Endo's Ceramic Studio, New Mexico.
As Miya Endo has worked as a Japanese translator that has spent much time in Japan, I feel certain the sort of grief she must be feeling, like all of us, at watching the tragedy unfold. Perhaps, we may all begin to learn that we are global citizens and that the small actions we take in our own lives, be it a small $5 donation or flying across the world to assist in disaster rescues, does indeed make a big impact.

Never underestimate the power of your impact!

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