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Helping out in Japan


Just thought I'd let everyone know about an opportunity to help the people of Japan. It's an organization run by one of my friends, at www.socksforjapan.com. Remember, everyone over there still needs help!
Them? The money doesn't go to families direct, it goes through so many organizations and people before it even helps. What you have to understand is money being donated through the Red Cross (and other big organizations alike) aren't donating to actual aid per say. They are funding smaller organizations within Japan that will help with shelter, water, food, electricity. Japan is a wealthy country, they've been refusing help from governments from other countries when it comes to money, but they have been asking for help with search and rescue missions. When Japan starts the clean up missions and rebuilding their country, they won't need your donations, they may not even accept your donations officially. When in relation to places like Haiti, donations are needed still, some will say more if you compare it to Japan, but with that it's a poor country and throwing money at it won't help in the long run because it will still be poor - which will no doubt be a cause to ask for more donations to help with more food, education etc.

The same rules do apply to natural disasters like this, money isn't the answer. In Japan money isn't the problem to helping, but it is still a good idea to donate money, or anything else like clothing. I would say donate direct to charities within Japan. http://www.charity-charities.org/Japan-charities/Japan.html.

That "Socks for Japan" has good intentions, but it is not registered as a charity.
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Anybody can create an "organization" but unless they've gone through the process of filing with the IRS and have received 501(c)3 charitable status, I will not give them a penny. Sorry.
Anybody can create an "organization" but unless they've gone through the process of filing with the IRS and have received 501(c)3 charitable status, I will not give them a penny. Sorry.

The interesting thing is, over 4,500 organizations applied for charitable status in relation to Japan relief. These guys were one of them who were refused.
The IRS will refuse an application if you forget to cross a "t" on your 1023 form. Well, not literally, but you get the idea. Forming a well rounded non-profit org takes several months. You'll also need a lot of time, effort, money, and in some cases a laywer if you're not familiar with all of the legalities or neet help putting together legal documents. It's not something you can just throw together in a day or two.
Actually the way you can help is find the organization with the lowest overhead cost, and donate to them... the organization with the lowest overhead are usually the most helpful and effective. But Dynash is mostly correct with this one. Japan is fully capable of lifting itself up, as it is an extremely wealthy country with a lot of domestic capability.
If you want to know if it's worth helping through a 'known' registered charity, check and see if they have a Human Resources department. If they do don't touch them!

What I found - after volunteering myself vehicles and time was that 'administration costs' would take a huge chunk of anything going.

Just to reinforce how well Japan is doing in picking itself up, I seen a story this morning regarding a major road that was devastated (actually looked like ours here in normal circumstances) and they had it in brilliant condition within days (like we would like to have ours).

They have had a devastating period, but they have had wonderful periods that allow them to pick it up again, and the people don't shirk it.

By all means wallow in sorrow for them, but do feel deeply regretful at the loss of life, and leave them to sort it out - they are way more than capable and all the intervention is just going to make things take longer as they try and organise all the bloody well wishers with a pair of socks in hand trying to help - wonder what the Japanese is for bugger off were doing fine now!