Like people around the world, I was shocked by the horrifying footage of the earthquake and subsequent tsunami that devastated Japan this past Friday. As the death toll continues to climb and the reality of a massive recovery sets in, the Internet is uniting the global community to help the people of Japan.
An excellent post in Mashable offers 7 easy ways to help Japan, most of which can be done from here in Qatar, with the exception of the first one, which asks people to text to donate money to the American Red Cross. Qtel or Vodafone (or both) would have to partner with a charity providing relief to make this doable here. The other ways to help include donating through Facebook, buying virtual goods in one of Zynga’s many wildly popular games, donating through iTunes, installing a free “Hello Bar” on your website or blog with simple code, and “liking” a certain page with the organization donating $1 for each like.
Google is also working to support recovery efforts, creating a webpage that allows people to donate directly to relief efforts (via the Japanese Red Cross Society), find the latest recovery information, and also access a database and message board to try to help locate loved ones.
I encourage everyone to check out the Mashable post and Google page to see if there is any way you can help the people of Japan. And also, if anyone knows a charity in Qatar that is accepting online donations that will go to recovery efforts in Japan, let me know and I will have our web team put a Hello Bar on Digital Qatar to help raise awareness.
It is times like these that the power of the Internet to mobilize support becomes most evident – our thoughts are very much with you Japan.