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Why not Red Cross?

03/25/2011

Mis queridos,

A lot of people have asked us why we are not donating our relief fund to Red Cross or other well-known big organizations… well, here is the reason why.

Of course, big non-profit organizations such as Red Cross do wonderful job, and, after the earthquake and tsunami, I soon donated $$$ to Red Cross Japan. I am not necessarily criticizing what Red Cross does. Please remember that Red Cross is just an example, and this is a personal opinion.

Though… these organizations usually use 30% of your monetary contribution to cover their administrative/operational cost and does not send $$$ to the victims and/or volunteers… Furthermore, they buy goods from corporations and send the goods to victims… Right now, what people in Japan may need more is fuel to transport necessary goods and food from other parts of the country to the affected area and fuel for heating equipments (it is freezing cold…) (Fortunately or unfortunately), Japan is a materially affluent country. Result? For example, after the great Hanshi-Awaji earthquake in 1995, there was a tremendous amount of unused goods piled up to be gotten rid of at evacuation sites and temporary homes in Kobe/Osaka… Recovery process takes long time and costs $$$, so we would like to use your monetary contribution to raise not only “relief” but also “recovery” fund!

I believe that these organizations’ employees/volunteers should be compensated as much as possible too for their hard work… but if you mean to donate to the affected people and volunteers in Japan as much as possible, it is a good idea to send your monetary donations to an organizations which promises you, donors, to send and use 100% of your contributions to the affected people and volunteers in Japan (or non-profit organizations in Japan who go out to the affected area to support the affected). These organizations, who try not to use your donations to cover their administrative costs, are receiving $$$ from big business corporations and other organizations, so our individual-level donations should be used more to support the affected in Japan!  Does this make sense?

Of course, you may find what we say here not true. But this is a good time to think critically. Please do some your own research to find which organization will be the most effective to send your monetary donations to!

So far, I found the US-Japan Council is the most effective… check it out US-Japan Council a 501(c)(3) charitable organization who promises donors to send and use 100% of our monetary donation to the affected people and volunteers in the Tohoku area in Japan (or non-profit organizations in Japan who actually go out to the affected area and do volunteer activities). After researching this issue, we are confident that the US-Japan Council has the contacts and initiative to make a direct and lasting difference in the Japan relief effort.

Based on our knowledge, Save The Children and Doctors Without Border are also good organizations to donate to. You can also donate directly to Red Cross Japan (this is more effective than donating to American Red Cross, which will anyway send your partial monetary donations to Red Cross Japan). If you believe there is a drinking-water shortage in the affected area, you can also participate in Waves for Water project.

Any questions? Let us know!

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