Japanese Relief Efforts

I’ve never been in love with one place more (never having visited) than I am with Japan. From the people to the culture, the anime, the films, the tea, sushi, and harajuku, I’m in love. And the list goes on. So my heart truly goes out to Japan during the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami. There are so many issues that remain to be dealt with even after the ground stops shaking and the water subsides. I was relieved to finally hear back from a friend of mine who lives in Tokyo, days after the quake. Clearly shaken, this is what she reports:

At that day big earthquakes occured, I went to home on foot 2 and half hours walking. My family is ok, Today is 3/15.  I go to the office  by bicycle. It is 1 hour ride. Commuter system is very bad now. Power shortage is problem here Tokyo. We are very shocked … But TV says second big earthquake may occur Tokyo or same area. We are so scared.

I’m so glad to work for a company that does outreach when disasters like this occur. As of today, we are donating 25% of all Japanese teas and teapots sold through the end of the month to Doctors Without Borders, a humanitarian organization offering urgent health care to people affected by this disaster. In a message sent from the field yesterday, they report:

The majority of consultations were elderly patients with chronic diseases. Many of them were running out of medications for hypertension and diabetes. Snow and sub-zero temperatures further complicated the picture… [Doctors Without Borders] ordered 25,000 blankets from a supply base in Dubai that should arrive in the next few days.

Another impressive fundraising effort by Living Social is raising money for the Japanese Red Cross. They’ve raised nearly $2 million so far – simply by matching people’s $5 donations. That’s the power of numbers!

Please raise a glass of Japanese tea in support. Every little bit helps!

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