Today in Europe, some bloggers have declared a day of silence in honor of Japan. We think the opposite, NOT SILENCE; what we need to do is be writing about it. All week long, as we’ve watched the horrific news from Japan, we’ve wondered where even to start. We know now.

We’re going to start with something hopeful to remind ourselves, that even with all the devastation and horror, there is life, and where there is life, there is hope, tiny miracles that remind us of the strength of the human spirit. So we open with this CNN video of an elderly Japanese woman’s escape from the Tsunami on a bicycle.

And then there is how we can help. Many artists have made and donated work to raise money for disaster relief organizations.


S.F. Girl By Bay has a good round-up…here’s “For  Japan” by Alicia Bock

Alicia Bock

…and this hopeful image by Linda Yuki Nakanishi via Design Milk Dairy:

Linda Yuki Nakanishi

Reference Library has a screenshots of a phone, making it easy to text-to-donate:

Google’s excellent Crisis Resource Page has a wide range of information from how to donate to the Japanese Red Cross, message boards, and People Finders, to status reports of reactors, transportation and essential services.

The Big Picture

We also keep thinking of the idea of bearing witness. As painful as it is, we believe that if we stay tuned to what is going on in Japan, if we bear witness to it, then we share in it, claim it as being undeniable and essential. We become part of a bigger community that is the world as we join together in awareness, and in trying to figure out solutions.We can bear witness by watching the news, looking at photo collections, like The Big Picture’s has compelling (and heartbreaking) photo essays. This photo is from a set The US Navy has published  related to the “Operation Tomodachi” disaster relief mission.

Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Dylan McCord

Operation Tomodachi via BoingBoing
CNN video thanks to Lydia Wills.

Related post: haiti: when there is nothing, there is something

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7 replies on “japan: resources, how to help, and hope

  1. Thank you. I agree about the silence thingy.

    Pls also consider the World Food Programme. They are in urgent need as they are first responders in Japan. Also, Japan is the fourth largest donor to WFP. The fact that they now need WFP is stunning. Compounding this crisis is the fact that other countries in need of food help are now facing a larger problem. This is the main thing that people can help with now. There are people in Japan who have not eaten this week yet. Seriously.

    WFP has a page of banners & other links for bloggers & people w/FBook & Twitter accts.


  2. Thanks for this info, Susan. We did not know about the World Food Programme. They are rated 4 stars by Charity Navigator. Here’s a link.

  3. I posted a “de-lurker” post, telling those who read my blog regularly but don’t comment to leave one, and for every comment, I’d give $1 to the Red Cross. It sort of took off, and several others did so as well.

    We’re all connected!

  4. DO NOT BE SILENT ABOUT NUCLEAR POWER! THIS NUCLEAR MELTDOWN DISASTER WAS PREVENTABLE! Can anyone still not be convinced that nuclear energy is dangerous, far more dangerous than any other kind of energy? Please refer to the wonderful film, Lovejoy’s Nuclear War, to see how anti-nuclear activism can really work. (It’s not on YouTube yet — can someone please post a clip?) Please check out Harvey Wasserman’s work at and for highly informed comment on nuclear power from a first-rate historian and investigative journalist.

  5. thank you for this…
    i’m going to watch the vid and check out your links and no doubt will share.

  6. David,

    thank you so much for shouting out to the world, end nuclear power! We should always be alert to the lessons of history, and the fact that we have ignored the devastation caused by nuclear power, whether used as weapons, or supposedly used to help us with power and energy, is something that needs more people like you shouting from the internet rooftops.

    If anyone needs any more information about the horror caused by our pursuit of nuclear power, all they have to do is look at this photo essay about the long term effects of the Chernobyl disaster. They photojournalist said that this experience changed him forever. And I think that watching it has changed me forever as well. So my heart goes out to those in Japan who are valiantly struggling with this disaster, but now, I will become more engaged in this fight. I am only too sorry that it takes something of this magnitude to involve me more.

  7. Lydia, I was stunned by the online presentation about Chernobyl at Magnum. Like you, it completely opened my eyes to something that I’ve allowed to stay distant. EVERYBODY should take the time to look and listen to the photographer’s narrative. It is one of the most compelling and heartbreaking things I’ve seen. Thank you.

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