obviously, the last week in japan has been a nightmare. i haven't mentioned it before now because i honestly just don't know what to say. the destruction is unbelievably overwhelming and it's horrifying to me how life can change so remarkably in just one second. my heart hurts for the people there and the long journey they have ahead. it's easy to distance ourselves from the situation and i find myself frustrated because there is so little i can personally do to help. that said, i don't think that's an excuse to just not help at all. i remember learning once in psychology that it's more likely that a large group of people will stand by and watch something terrible happen without helping than it is for a small group. while this seems somewhat absurd, the large group feels safety in numbers. let's not be the person in the crowd who just assumes our own exemption because surely someone else will help. there are so many of us who are able to give that even if we all contribute a little, a great deal can be done.
while i still think it's important to donate directly to the cause, consider etsy's lovely a heart for japan feature if you have upcoming birthdays or other gifts to buy. they have charming prints and jewelry with proceeds going to support the cause in various ways. i'd love to post some of the merchandise here, but i'm hesitant to do so without permission, so hop on over and check it out yourself.
also, allow me to suggest donations to a few of my relief organizations of choice:
of course, the red cross is awesome. in addition to basic relief, they also offer emotional support and counseling and access to computers for survivors to register on a "safe and well" website and contact loved ones.
world vision is currently providing extensive emergency relief and has committed to helping japan through hands-on work and passionate prayer. as a strong christian organization that seeks to end poverty and injustice in countless ways, i am confident my donation will be used well.
and, as always, i support habitat for humanity's relief efforts. as the organization seeks to provide long-term quality housing, they initially partner with other organizations for clean-up and then begin distributing temporary shelter kits for displaced families. the organization's work lasts long beyond initial relief and seeks to rebuild devastated areas by providing families a new home and hope for the future.
events like this are no doubt terrifying, and while i think we'll always have questions as to why they occur, i can do nothing but allow the one who calms the sea to continue holding me, japan, and the world in his ever capable hands.
"the Lord is a refuge for the opressed, a stronghold in times of trouble." - psalm 9:9
1.imprint 2.etsy 3.flickr