At this point we strongly recommend holding off on giving to this relief/recovery effort (Japan)
If you read the fine print in most nonprofits appeals for this disaster, you'll see phrases such as: "prepared to assist," "readying a team," "stand at the ready," "assessing the situation." But few have actually deployed staff. And there is the very real possibility that many of the organizations currently collecting donations for the recovery efforts might not be allowed to operate in Japan.
There's a good reason for this. Just because a major disaster has occurred, does not mean that the country is not capable of responding to it themselves. Just as Chile was able to respond to their earthquake far better than Haiti...
...Right now, from all accounts, the Japanese government is doing a good job of leading the relief efforts. It's wise to give them time to assess the needs and determine which organization can best meet those needs. Once a nonprofit has official permission to work in the country, then you can donate to them./Huffington Post.
It is natural to want to help. When we hear that someone loses a family member, we want to bring food. We need to bring Something. The bigger the hurt, the more we are unable to sit back and wait but maybe, just maybe, in the case of Japan's unparalleled trauma, we need to do something. Maybe we need, to be needed.
I have a different perspective after reading this article that goes beyond Japan but to the very need to give. We have the very best of intentions but frankly, collecting donated money is big business. There has been much corruption in the giving for Haiti, for those who needed it the most. The Japanese are a very proud nation, self reliant and this makes perfect sense.
Need is subjective. Some need more, some less. We all know people in both camps. Haiti and Japan and helping comes somewhere in the middle. Too much help discourages those from doing everything possible to help themselves. Not allowing gifts of love because of honor seems equally, wrong.
Help when you can.
Help because it is needed not because you need it.
Understand that not helping sometimes, is helping.
10 days. They are still finding their dead. Let them figure it out and let us know when they have had all they can take. Need will always be answered, always...
Posted by firstname.lastname@example.org at Sunday, March 20, 2011