As much as I enjoyed day 1 of March Madness (that’s right, I’m not counting the first four), I have also been seeking to keep up on recovery efforts and the unfolding story in Japan. It is grim and sobering to say the least.
If you feel compelled to do something, but don’t know where to begin or what to do, I would encourage you to pray intentionally for the people of Japan and all who have been affected by this. If you are in a position to make a financial contribution to the recovery efforts, I would encourage you to do so through the United Methodist Committee on Relief. There are many good organizations doing recovery work (and some shams who will simply take your money, so of course do your research before giving anywhere), but I find giving through UMCOR to be particularly satisfactory.
The most compelling reason I can share for giving through UMCOR has nothing to do with the fact that I am a United Methodist. It is because of the administrative structure and the way in which funds are disbursed in response to a crisis. All of the funds needed to run UMCOR as an organization come from local church giving and apportionment dollars given through the year. When a crisis like the Haiti Earthquake or the Earthquake/Tsunami in Japan hit, 100% of every dollar you give to UMCOR goes directly to relief efforts in that region.
A new advance special has been established to benefit the people and regions devastated by last week’s earthquake and tsunami. You can give online or by calling 1.888.252.6174 or by sending a check to Advance GCFA, PO Box 9068, GPO, New York, NY 10087-9068. If sending a check please indicate, “Japan Emergency, #3021317” on the memo line.