As the disaster deepens in Japan, some people may wish to do more than sit on the sidelines and watch as that country fights off one new threat after another. Thanks to technology, there are some easy ways to show your support and do things like donate money to help relief efforts.
For Mobile Users
After the devastating earthquake in Haiti last year, many organizations rallied to promote mobile donations, which are a quick way to send money. In Canada, the Red Cross quickly launched its text message donation campaign after last week's earthquake and tsunami. To send $5 in relief money, text ASIA to 30333 (100 per cent of your donation goes to the Canadian Red Cross Japan Earthquake/Asia-Pacific Tsunami fund). Whatever you donate will be added to your phone bill at the end of the month.
Add a floating bar on the top of your website or blog that prompts people to help. There are two ways to do this with a free tool called the Hello Bar. Sign up for a free account using invite code "helpjapan". Within the dashboard you can customize your colours, message, and a link to where you want to send people to donate (e.g. Red Cross). If you'd prefer to simply add a line of code to your site without signing up for an account, check out Hello Bar's site for how this works (easy to do on Tumblr, Wordpress, and Blogger sites).
For iTunes Users
When you're logged into your iTunes account, on the home screen click the button that says "Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Donate Here." Within this area you can donate anywhere from $5 to $200 to the American Red Cross. Apple says it is transferring 100 per cent of your donation, which will appear on your credit card statement.
Twitter is using its service in Japan to help survivors sort through news and information. They've listed special hashtags (keywords) so victims of the earthquake can quickly get support. For example, #311care lists medical information, #Hinan lists evacuation information, and #J_j_helpme fields requests for rescue. In North America, one of the most popular hashtags you can use to centralize your tweets about this disaster is #prayforjapan.
For Animal Lovers
The founder of Explore.org is asking people to "Like" its Dog Bless You page on Facebook. In exchange for a "Like", Charlie Annenberg Weingarten has agreed to donate one dollar to the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation, which has sent a dog rescue team to Japan. More than 100,000 people have already joined the campaign, making the next milestone is 200,000.
I'm sure there are many other ways to help, so please provide links and ideas within the comments area of this post.